Concern over reports of air pollution


Assistant Commissioner D.R. Ashok has urged the district administration to take serious note of a report highlighting adverse health impact on people, particularly children, due to the fly ash from the Coke plant of Mangalore Refinery and Petroleum Limited (MRPL) in Jokatte area. Residents have been agitating against the alleged pollution for the last few months.

In a letter written in November, made available to The Hindu on Thursday, he informed Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim that the people of Jokatte were facing health problems, besides drinking water and sound pollution, and living in the area has been “rendered difficult” due to air polluted with chemicals. He added that following a spot visit and a subsequent meeting with villagers and officials of the refinery, they had come to the conclusion that a 50-metre area close to the plant should be acquired after rehabilitating the people, and this area should be converted into a green corridor.

Mr. Ashok has quoted observations made by Mahantesh M. Gudodagi, a Chemical Engineer from Environmental Protection Agency from Belagavi, about the Coke Yard near the MRPL plant, whose report on the issues raised by people was submitted to the local village panchayat in June 2014.

He quoted it to say that “fugitive dust from the pet coke storage and handling operations present a health risk. EPA is particularly concerned about particles that are 10 micrometres in diameter or smaller… because those are the particles that generally pass through the throat and nose and enter lungs… these particles can affect heart and lungs… Exposure to fine particles is associated with increased frequency of childhood illness, which are of concern both in the short run and for the future development of healthy lungs in the affected children.”

Mr. Ashok told The Hindu that a meeting is yet to be convened to discuss the report given by him.

The MRPL on its part said all parameters as required by the rules have been under control and are being regularly monitored. “We are very strict about this and multiple agencies are engaged to ensure the environment is protected,” said an MRPL official.

The official added that no additional land was required for the green corridor and construction had begun to raise the relevant portion of peripheral wall by 30 ft.

Meeting yet to be convened on inspection report

Advice to create a green corridor in the area

Administration asked to take cognisance

of reports of pollution at Jokatte

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 2:11:14 AM |

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