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Dust from road causes respiratory problems

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HEALTH HAZARD: Highways department road at Lashminagar, near Ammapet, requires immediate attention. - Photo: M. GovarthaN
HEALTH HAZARD: Highways department road at Lashminagar, near Ammapet, requires immediate attention. - Photo: M. GovarthaN

R. Sundaram

About 250 families at Lakshminagar affected by air pollution

ERODE: "We are spending heavily for medical expenses, especially to cure respiratory problems. This is owing to inhaling of dust emanating from the metal road," villagers at Lakshminagar, near Ammapet, told this correspondent.

Ammapet is an agricultural area where a number of agricultural labourers and agriculturists live. Ammapet-Anthiyur road is a busy thoroughfare with frequent flow of vans, lorries and two-wheelers. The highways department decided to develop the road near Lakshminagar for two kms.

A villager S. Parthasarathy said: "On September 4, 2005 the highways department placed blue metal and soil to strengthen the road. They entrusted black topping work with contractors. Though about 14 months have passed nothing was done." Heavy dust from the road has affected 250 families in the area. Come rain and no one can cross the road owing to heavy marsh and in summer it is the dust storm which harms the people.

Mr. Parthasarathy said already many representations had been made by all 250 families to the Collector and the highways department but nothing was done. The families never resorted to violent methods but urged the district collector to depute a responsible official to the area to inspect the road and then arrange for immediate black topping.

A doctor at the primary health centre, Ammapet, said some patients with dust allergy and asthma came to the centre. However, he said the number of patients coming to the centre with respiratory diseases was not alarming.

The highways department officials said tenders had already been passed and work order to lay the road had been given to a contractor.

But owing to rise in prices of materials the work was delayed.

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