Smoke from Birgunj Industrial Area affects local residentsConcerned authorities are just being mute spectators, locals say.
Residents of Jitpur in Bara complain of being affected by smoke from the Birgunj Industrial Area. According to them, the area remains shrouded in clouds of dense smoke emitted by the dozens of industries that operate in the area.
“The industry emits a lot of smoke. As a result, locals are facing difficulties in performing their daily activities,” said a shop operator in the area.
According to locals, exposure to air pollution is making them more susceptible to various diseases, including the common cold, asthma, tuberculosis, and eye infection, among others.
“We have to struggle to breathe in the toxic air, but the concerned authorities are not doing anything to address the issue,” the shop operator said.
There are around 150 households in the area. The affected households have been demanding the industries to adopt residential air purifiers to remove smoke and pollutants.
“The concerned stakeholders should monitor the industries and improve air quality,” said Bhikari Raut Kurmi, a local.
Suresh Modak, the chairman of National Tuberculosis Control Center in Bara, said the number of patients suffering from tuberculosis is increasing in the district, which can partly be attributed to the rising air pollution level.
“The majority of the district’s industries does not use air-filtration devices. Authorities should take initiatives to control industrial pollution,” Modak said.
Stakeholders blame local units, environment department and other regulatory bodies of not doing much to control pollution in the district.
Krishna Paudel, the mayor of Jitpur Simara Sub Metropolis, said his office had notified the Department of Environment about the situation several times but to no avail.