Industrialization and pollution
The Indian economy is booming. The different industries in India include iron and steel, textiles, manufacturing and chemical industries. However, there are fears our industries are growing too fast without checks on their ill effects on the environment.
Constant addition of untreated toxic chemicals to the environment is on. This had led to pollution of air, water and land. This endangers the health of millions of workers and that of people living around.
Groups like the Indian people’s Tribunal on environment and human right has noticed that works often live near the factories and complain of serous health problems like breathe difficulties and even cancer.
Most often workers handling chemicals are not provide with protective clothing and their skin gets adversely affected or corroded. This can even affect the internal organs.
Disposal utreated wastes into the soil and water around contaminate and poison the groundwater. This water becomes unfit for our use and the cost to purity it is very high. Often, famers report a fall in yield because of excessive chemicals in the soil. In parts of Gujarat, crop production has fallen by 30-80 percent.
The sect oral environment report, that Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are responsible for the generation of around 60 percent of the hazardous waste like mercury in the country. This waste needs to be handled with care, treated to make it safe and then disposed off safely. But all this costs the industry more money, so often, the waste just lies around, poisoning the atmosphere.
Several industries release chemicals like hydrochloric acid, nitrous oxide, sulphur oxide, pesticides and other poisonous substance into the atmosphere. These substances irritate eyes and cause breathing problems. Skin problems, allergies, hear and stomach disorders are also common. In spite of periodic checks, factories often release dangerous chemicals.
The effects of industrial pollution are obvious in several parts of the country. Villagers near Udvada in Gujarat had found nearly 150 tones of dead fish in mid1998. Scientists fear that the levta fish or mudskipper is almost extinct around Valsad. This means, fishermen have to find other work, like toiling in the salt pans of Bhatuch.
Even the vast sea is giving up the fight. Fishermen communities like the Tandal who used to fish near the shore, now have to row as far as 10 kilometers into the sea. They need expensive motor boats for this purpose and these boats run on costly fossil fuels. Poor fishermen who cannot buy such boats catch fish near the shore, but often, the buyers are afraid of the amount of chemicals present in the fish and fish lie unsold.
Several brick industries use a lot of ash for brick manufacturing and builders also use ash when they mix it with cement. The unused ash lies around and huge amounts of it fly into the atmosphere contaminating the air, soil and even water.