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Monday, May 11, 2009

Bholakpur a breeding ground for diseases

Health hazard: Plastic godowns are a common sight in Gulshan Nagar and Bholakpur area.

Hyderabad: Diseases always have had a free run here. Respiratory infections, asthma, fever and headaches are the commonest complaints among the Bholakpur residents. Thanks to the hides, bones and plastic scrap units the area is a potential health hazard all the time.

Residents have cried hoarse about shutting down these polluting units, but the action is never taken. In fact the number of applications submitted to the civic body by residents of Gulshan Nagar, Padmashali Colony, Musheerabad and Bakaram make a bulky tome.

On Sunday morning the unexpected happened. In a knee-jerk action the GHMC sealed some plastic units and cleared the bone storage godowns. But a large number of them are still busy plying their trade in the narrow lanes.

Segregation of plastic waste is a household industry here. Plastic filled gunny bags are piled up before every house.

Women are busy sorting out the assorted stuff. “I get Rs. 50 for this job”, says Fatima Bee, a widow at Gulshan Nagar.

Drums, bottles and plastic cans containing date expired chemicals find their way here. “These are highly dangerous. After cleaning them they are again reused. Sometimes the cleaners themselves use the outdated things like toothpastes at great personal risk”, says Abdul Razzak, a resident.

An overpowering decaying smell hangs in the air, although the four bone stocking godowns are shut down. But they always come back and function on the sly, say residents. Bones from different slaughter houses are brought here and stored. They are dried and disposed off to places within and outside the State where they are powdered and used in various products.

The fat is melted into tallow giving rise to an offensive odour.

“We are suffering this for years but officials never bothered to come to our rescue”, bemoans Ziauddin.

Passing the buck

Surveys earlier conducted by environmental engineers of A.P. Pollution Control Board attributed the pollution in the area to the tanning and bone units.

The civic body was asked to relocate the polluting agencies at a suitable alternate site. But the civic body washed off its hand saying it was for the Industries department to provide an alternate site, it is said.

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