Polluted air with fine dust particles troubles patients, elders

Air pollution is heavy on WB Road in Tiruchi.

Air pollution is heavy on WB Road in Tiruchi. | Photo Credit: M. SRINATH

The heavy dust kicked up by the on-going under drainage scheme and drinking water pipeline laying works is posing much hardship to city residents.

Except for roads in Srirangam and a few arterial roads, more than 60 % to 64% of the roads in the city have been dug up due to the ongoing phase-II and phase-III underground drainage projects. West Boulevard Road, Madurai Road, Gandhi Market-Varaganeri Road, Puthur main Road and Woraiyur-Salai Road are among the busy roads that cater to a large number of vehicles including buses, lorries, cars, auto rikshaws and two-wheelers.

Most of the bus plying roads have also been dug up for laying supply mains and constructing manholes as part of UGD projects. While some roads have been levelled with the excavated clay so as to enable the motorists to drive vehicles till the completion of the UGD works, men and machinery are working along several other roads. Several roads look like mud roads and the vehicles including buses and lorries are operated on them, thereby kicking up dust particles in the air atmosphere.

Buses and cars continue to ply on the roads without any break. It is observed that the atmosphere is filled with sand dust throughout the day except during night hours.

Motorists, mainly two-wheeler riders, passers-by, shopkeepers, shoppers and morning walkers are invariably exposed to polluted air. Similarly, the accumulation of sand and silt along the roads has also troubled the motorists. They find it extremely difficult to drive on roads.

Continuous exposure to sand dust and polluted air is said to have caused ill effects on the health of the residents, mainly those with respiratory, allergic and asthma complaints.

“Fine dust particles in the air is posing problems to the people, particularly those with asthma complaints. We could not avoid inhaling polluted air even when we sit in the hospitals to consult doctor,” says K. Venkatesan, son of an asthma affected mother in Kumaran Nagar.

“We observe an increase in the number of patients visiting the hospitals with coughing, wheezing, lower respiratory tract infections, obstructive airway diseases, lung fibrosis and others. It could be due to the air pollution caused by clouds of dust in the atmosphere,” says M.A. Aleem, former Vice Principal, K.A.P. Viswanatham Government Medical College.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2022 2:48:45 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/tiruchi/article65527114.ece