Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, July 18
Villagers have been suffering from respiratory problems due to smoke emanating from “burning” waste on the banks of the Buddha Nullah at Gaunspur village, around 20 km from Ludhiana, for the past three months. Waste and silt removed from the nullah are piled up on the banks and adjoining land in the village.
The village panchayat said the nullah waste had been burning since April. The smoke had stopped emanating for some time when heavy rain lashed the village recently.
The villagers said though flames were not visible, smoke kept emanating from the waste all the time. They have urged the government to provide them relief from poisonous fumes at the earliest.
Whenever the direction of wind is towards residential areas, the villagers are forced to keep their doors and windows closed as they start having trouble in breathing, said the panchayat.
Instead of shifting the nullah waste to a place out of the village, it is piled up along the banks. A villager, Gurmeet Singh, said: “My house is located just 100 metre from the nullah. It is difficult to breathe due to poisonous smoke emanating from the waste. It has made our life miserable. We don’t know how the waste catches fire. Nobody has paid any attention to rid us of this major problem.”
Sarpanch Sukhdev Singh said smoke started emanating from the waste again after the rain had stopped. It was hard to breathe because of the poisonous fumes, he added.
Will investigate matter: PPCB
Senior Environment Engineer, Punjab Pollution Control Board, Ludhiana, Sandeep Behl said: “We will investigate the matter and give instructions to the department concerned to remove the heaps of waste from the banks of Buddha Nullah at Gaunspur village.”
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