Villagers claimed that the impact of smoke has triggered acute respiratory issues, including asthma, among many due to continuous exposure to the polluted air.
“Fearing the harmful effects of the smoke, pregnant women avoid staying in our locality and move to their relative’s house. Though the industrial unit has been functioning for more than a decade, the intensity of smoke emissions has grown severely only in recent times,” said S Manickam, a villager.
The people rued that their farmlands are blanketed with thick black dust thereby affecting the yield. Most of the villagers, who are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood, are raising crops like plantain, tapioca, turmeric, cotton and coconut trees in Kanur.
“We witness stunted growths and the yield is majorly affected due to settling of soot on the farms. Apart from causing air pollution, the only lake in the village is also getting polluted,” said another villager.
Kanur panchayat president M Mayilsamy said that the panchayat has raised the grievance with the industrial unit.
“We have insisted the industrial unit to operate by adhering to pollution control norms and without causing inconvenience to people. The authorities in the unit have promised to oblige,” he said.
Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), Tirupur North Executive Engineer Saravana Kumar said that the department has commenced an inquiry into the release of excess smoke from the industrial unit. “Action will be taken based on enquiry,” he said.