Collector interacts with villagers affected by pollution

District Collector J. Syamala Rao said that a medical team would conduct tests to determine the impact of ash pond pollution on the lives of the villagers residing around NTPC Simhadri plant.

The district Collector met the affected villagers along with the District Medical and Health Officer and a team of doctors from the KGH. He visited Pittavanipalem, Devada, Marada, Dasaripeta and other villages on Wednesday. He directed the medical team to examine the affected villagers and submit a report to him within a week.

He directed Revenue Divisional Officer K. Prabhakara Rao to get the underground water in the villages tested by officials of the Rural Water Supply Department to determine the amount of pollutants in groundwater. He said that based on the reports, the affected villagers would be rehabilitated, if necessary.

Mr. Syamala Rao interacted with the villagers of Pittavanipalem. The villagers told him that they had aspired to get jobs in the plant (NTPC) but had never imagined that the groundwater would be polluted.

Action plan

They said that inhaling the air polluted with ash and drinking contaminated water was causing several diseases. Growth was stunted in children.

The district Collector said that measures were being taken to develop Visakhapatnam into a ‘pollution free' city. An action plan was formulated with the participation of the public, media representatives and officials through a public hearing. It was sent to the Central Pollution Control Board for its approval. Orders were also issued to the major industries in the city on the steps required to be taken by them for controlling pollution.

Mr. Syamala Rao visited various industries in the city and inspected the pollution-control measures initiated by them.

He directed Environmental Engineer of the Pollution Control Board Usman Ali Khan to exert pressure on the port management to install mechanical dust sprinkler system.

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