Smoke pollution on the rise in city, residents demand check on passenger buses

Report by: 
M SURESH KUMAR
Port Blair
22 Jul 2017

Known for its green cover and least levels of air pollution, these islands probably won’t be able to retain the title for long. Nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide is alarmingly increasing in the air with every passing day affecting residents' health as motorists have become used to inhaling toxic gases emitted by automobiles in the city.
The major cause of pollution is believed to be hundreds of private and government buses that run on city roads. Sources say majority of these vehicles emitting high levels of smoke have surpassed their service period, but they continue to ply in the city with no check by enforcing agencies like the Pollution Control Board or the Traffic Police. “Cases of people suffering from respiratory disorders reported from the city these days have registered an alarming rise. One can see for themselves, the smoke emitted by a huge number of public vehicles running in the city. The Pollution Control Division should enforce a strict check while granting fitness certificates to public vehicles. After exceeding their service period, many public transport vehicles manage to get fitness certificates with the blessings of some officials. The trend is dangerous and is bound to pose serious health hazards for the residents in near future. The Traffic Police should also ensure a strict vigil on vehicles emitting high levels of smoke. They should be armed with smoke-level detector machines to conduct on the spot checking on such vehicles,” say some Mohanpura residents.
“The local administration, which is promoting green energy as per the renewed policy of the Central Government, should also take necessary steps to contain air pollution in the islands. Public transport vehicles should be strictly inspected before granting fitness certificates by the concerned agencies. Efforts should also be made to procure Smoke Detectors for the Traffic Police so that vehicles plying in the city can be checked on the spot,” asserted some others.