More than 80,000 cases of serious respiratory ailments in four industrial expansions, including at Ahmedabad, Vapi, and Valsad: CAG
While there is no escaping air pollution in urban areas, the situation is turning from bad to worse in the industrial belts of Gujarat, including Ahmedabad, Valsad, Vapi and Ankleshwar. This was revealed in the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report tabled in the House on the last day of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly.
The report slammed the state Pollution Control Board for having “failed completely” in tackling air pollution. It listed 15 hospitals in the industrial extension belts of Ahmedabad, Valsad, Vapi and Ankleshwar that reported a combined 80,443 patients being treated for respiratory ailments such as asthma and inflammation. Three of these 15 hospitals are in Ahmedabad.
The CAG report also mentioned that the number of vehicles in the state has increased by 352% in the past two decades. It has recommended setting up of units to constantly monitor the air in problematic areas.
It said that despite the Central Pollution Control Board asking the state Pollution Board to obtain bank guarantees for setting up an online system for monitoring pollution emanating from the industrial units way back in 2015, 67 out of the 422 units have not installed such a system. Ninety-four units are not connected with the server of the state Pollution Control Board.
THOSE NEAR POWER STATIONS HIT HARD
Apart from the menace of mining, which has affected areas such as Vatrak, Chitrasani, Bagsara, Sayla, and Ambaji Sevlia, air quality was significantly poor around 47 coal-operated power stations in the state, the CAG report said.
The report mentioned 14 coal-operated power stations in Mundra, Kutch, where levels of sulphur dioxide was way beyond permissible limits. Post the CAG audit, the state Pollution Control Board issued a notice to Adani Power.