In a startling turn of events, the construction of the Amravati Road flyover in Nagpur has transformed the once serene stretch between Law College Square and the University campus into a swirling dust bowl. The ambitious project, led by the National Highway Division of the state Public Works Department (PWD), has left the trees along the road bereft of their green foliage, now covered in a layer of ashen dust.
Citizens Gasping for Breath as Air Quality Plummets
The aftermath of the construction has brought forth a myriad of issues, with residents grappling with the deteriorating air quality. The entire area (Amravati Road Flyover) is now plagued by a thick cloud of dust, rendering footpaths battered and forcing pedestrians to don masks. Motorists, both on four and two-wheelers, navigate through the construction site with rolled-up windows and covered faces, a desperate attempt to shield themselves from the stifling atmosphere.
Alarming Scene Unveiled During TOI’s Site Visit
A recent visit by TOI to the site on Tuesday revealed an alarming situation. The once vibrant area has succumbed to the perils of construction-related pollution. The dust-laden air poses a significant threat to the well-being of residents, who are now voicing their concerns about the potential escalation of the issue during the impending scorching summer months.
Negligence and Disregard for Guidelines Amplify Woes
Despite civic guidelines mandating the spraying of water to control dust spread, the contractor overseeing the project seems to have turned a deaf ear. The dismantled barricades along the pillars contribute to the issue, allowing the accumulated dust to transform into a veritable sandstorm. Residents allege that both the contractor and the government agency responsible for oversight are turning a blind eye to the mounting environmental crisis.
Residents Demand Action Amidst Lax Approach
Residents, plagued by acute respiratory problems and witnessing a decline in the overall quality of life, are demanding immediate preventive steps from authorities. The delayed progress of the flyover project not only extends the period of noise and dust pollution but also raises questions about the commitment to timely execution of developmental projects.
Environmentalist Warns of Long-Term Consequences
Environmentalists, including Kaustav Chatterjee, the brand ambassador of Swachh Bharat, emphasize the long-term consequences of such negligence. Dust not only impedes sunlight from reaching plant surfaces but also raises leaf temperatures, affecting the overall health of greenery. Chatterjee warns that the pollution generated by delayed projects contributes significantly to Nagpur’s designation as a non-attainment city.
Cry for Action as Pollution Threatens Livelihoods and Greenery
Local residents, witnessing their surroundings turn into wastelands, express frustration and concern. Sanjay Taksande, a resident near Law College Square, laments the adverse impact on both residents and the environment. As the construction project continues at a sluggish pace, the cost escalates, and pollution reaches unprecedented levels. The call for immediate corrective measures echoes through the affected community, urging authorities to prioritize the well-being of both citizens and nature.