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Industrial waste woes: Sonipat residents battle with diseases

Industrial waste woes: Sonipat residents battle with diseases

New Delhi: People living in the industrial periphery of Sonipat district's Saboli, Nathupur, Kundli, Akbarpur Barota Safiabad and Sersa are not only breathing deadly air but also paying heavily for polluted water due to industrial waste. The industrial belt has several plastic, rubber and polyester factories of medium and large scale which is directly affecting normalcy along with the deteriorating environment. People of these villages are battling with air and water-borne diseases among which skin infection and cancer are most common.

A study shows industrial pollution contains dioxin, nitrogen dioxin, furan and benzene which are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer. While speaking, Mahendra Singh (78), a resident of Saboli village who is suffering from cancer said: "I was detected with throat cancer in August 2018. The source of our drinking water is getting severely affected due to industrial waste. Of course, we can reach a solution but corruption is blocking our path."

Sanjay, a daily wage earner from Nathupur stated, "I have got a severe infection on my face and not only us but our children are also getting affected. I had no option but to install a water filter at home. This was not the case 10 years ago."

Like Sanjay, most of the residents of these villages have been compelled to depend either on water suppliers or RO or water filter for drinking. But also there are people who fail to afford them.

Environmentalist Vimlendu Jha was of the view that lack of pollution control regulations and governance has led to widespread dumping of effluents in its water bodies, including rivers and groundwater. "Open burning of waste, as well as toxins released by these unregulated industries, are causing a deterioration in the ambient air quality as well. Many of these industries have come around residential areas, affecting the local residents as well the workers of these factories/industries," added Jha.

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