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  • NGO's in arms against polluting units Monday, November 5, 2001

    VADODARA: As the advent of winter would also bring with it the problem of air pollution in the city that has a large number of chemical factories in its close vicinity, a non-governmental body has come up with guidelines for residents to help them locate the origin of the pollution.

    The body, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, has appealed to the citizens to monitor the increasing incidences of air pollution in the city as winter advances and report to the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) if there is a stink of some chemicals in their locality.

    Vadodara has a large number of chemical factories in residential areas where the problem of foul smelling gases or chemical substances has been reported in the past.

    "The idea is to create actual data on the incidence of air pollution and record it with the help of residents. Similar ground data has been created by residents in several countries in Europe and Latin America where the problem of air pollution was found" said the samiti's Rohit Prajapati.

    The incidences of air pollution or the sudden inflow of foul- smelling gases during the winter are high in all regions across the Golden Corridor. Despite residents' protests, these are not properly documented and by the time the GPCB officials arrive at the spot, the problem would be over. "We have therefore prepared a special guideline for citizens in case of such a problem", Prajapati said.

    "We have approached residents not just in Vadodara but also in other areas in the Golden Corridor such as Vapi, Bharuch and Ankleshwar and appealed to them to keep a notebook wherein they list the actual date and time when air pollution increases', he said.

    As per the guidelines, the residents should note down the nature of the smell, the time when the smell emanated and the direction from where it came. "If possible, signatures of all residents in the society should also be taken. And, then, the GPCB should be called and complaints registered. This kind of documentation would help in future when a legal case needs to be filed against the polluting body" he said.

    According to him, unless the residents gave formal complaints to the GPCB, they would not be able to penalise the polluting unit.

    "A few months ago, when a committee was formed to look into the problem of the mysterious smell that emanated in Gorwa, Subhanpura and other city areas, the polluting unit was not penalised except for a notice asking it to close down its operation. Later the notice too was revoked", Prajapati said.

    News Source : The Times of India

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