Respiratory morbidity nearby RCF plant Chembur

Mumbai: The prevailing air quality in Mahul area is alarmingly hazardous, complained residents as industrial operations in the area spew toxic gases that cause respiratory morbidity. The Mahul area has again grabbed widespread attention after boiler blast in Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers (RCF) plant claimed three lives besides injuring five others on Saturday evening.

The people who have recently shifted to Mahul and nearby areas are the worst to get affected as they are not used to breathe the substandard air quality prevailing there. The Mahul area surrounded by number of industries like BPCL and HPCL refineries, Tata Powers, Aegis besides RCF that produce obnoxious smell causing air pollution and serious health impacts.

“We were not aware of the bad air quality of the area, else we would not have purchased flat here,” said Nikhil Rai, who has shifted to Mamata Deep Heights – a centrally located tower next to Mysore Colony monorail station – a year ago.

Rai, a business man, told FPJ that people are facing breathing problem besides reeling under acute health issues like bronchitis and skin allergy.

“There are so many industries in nearby area. These industries spew hazardous gases deteriorating the air quality. Whom should we complain? We are sitting on ticking bomb,” said Rai, who too heard the thunderous blast in boiler.

Mahul – a village of Koli community – has been battling hard to better the air quality. A senior citizen lady Manjura Bhandari, who came to the village in 1970s after getting married, said, “The chimneys emanate thick black and white smoke. We feel suffocated. You cannot stay here as it emanates obnoxious smell. Now I am used to it.”

“But many children of this village are suffering from nausea, cough and asthma. And elderly people of this village have knee-problem,” she said.

Meanwhile, 28-year-old Rupesh who resides in DB Realty, Mahada colony, complained that the industries spew huge amount of hazardous gases during night especially during 12 to 4 am. “There is no need of street light in the area as the chimneys’ flame glows like cricket stadium light. You can easily notice the flame of these chimneys from Wadala area,” he said.

Rupesh has shifted his base to the Mhada colony, nearby Mahul village, from Kurla just three years ago. “We have lost our hair after coming to this area. Many people are facing itching problem. The youngsters have started pain in their knees,” said Rupesh, adding that many middle-aged people of his colony have suddenly died of heart attacks.

Rupesh, who works in a private firm in Churchagte area, said, “Most of the time I am out of this area but I feel suffocated the moment I enter the premises.”

The substandard air quality due to industrial operations in the area has made many youngsters insomniac as, Rupeshsaid, he faces irritation in his eyes during sleep.

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