Residents on Surat’s Vastadevdi Road suffering from asthma and allergies, thanks to textile mills
Tens of hundreds of residents in Sumul Dairy Road and Vastadevdi Road apartments and bungalows have been suffering from serious health problems for many years
Surat : Leena Patel, a young woman from Katargam’s Sardarnagar society on Vastadevdi Road, suffers from asthama and is unable to walk or stand. Leena, a normally healthy and energetic woman, has been bedridden for two months due to the harmful air and dust pollution caused by nearby textile printing and dying factories. She is unable to enjoy her bungalow’s garden because she is afraid of being exposed to the hazardous black ash that drifts from the nearby textile mill chimneys. She is required to wear a mask 24 hours a day, seven days a week due to pollution from the mills.
Leena’s story is not unique. Tens of hundreds of residents in Sumul Dairy Road and Vastadevdi Road apartments and bungalows have been suffering from serious health problems for many years. An estimated 20 textile mills in Katargam’s Vastadevdi and Sumul Dairy Roads emit harmful air and toxic black ash pollution, endangering residents’ health.
Majority of the terraces of the bungalows and apartments on Vastadevi Road are covered in the blanket of toxic black ash drifting from the textile mills located on the stone throw distance. The dust settle on the terrace and enters the houses, making it difficult for the residents to breath.
Daxesh Mavani, Sumul dairy ward councillor and member of the Surat Municipal Corporation’s (SMC) Standing Committee, has submitted a representation to the SMC chief and ruling party leaders on the health of people living near mills on Vastadevdi Road. Mavani has urged Mukesh Patel, Minister of State for Forest and Environment, to take action against the erring textile mill owners in order to reduce air and toxic black ash pollution in his ward.
“There are approximately 20 mills in our Katargam area,” said Daxesh Mavani, councillor from the Katargam-Sumul Dairy ward. “Majority of the textile mills are not replacing the chimney filters resulting in massive air pollution and black ash. Residents on Vastadevdi Road find it difficult to sit outside. I have urged the municipal corporation to take strict action against the erring textile mill owners through the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB).”
“I know at least 50 people who are suffering from various health ailments due to textile mill pollution. These mills should either be relocated outside of the city limits or dealt with strictly according to the law,” Mavani added.
“The cases of asthama, breathing problems, skin and eye allergies have been increasing due to the heavy pollution by the textile mills on Vastadevdi Road,” said Dr. Jagdish Dhanani, a physician on Sumul Dairy Road. All of this is due to industrial black ash and toxic gases. I live in the same neighbourhood and would like to urge the administration to take action against these mills.”
(This is a part of the series of articles to be published by The Blunt Times)