CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has intensified testing of air quality after the residents of Tiruvottiyur and Manali in Chennai continue to complain of a pungent odour.
The odour resembling LPG gas leakage has been in these areas for the past 15 days and many residents complained of irritation in their eyes on Monday and Tuesday.
Tamil Nadu Forest and Environment minister V. Siva Meyyanathan has directed TNPCB to conduct a detailed study on the air quality in the area.
Residents in Tiruvottiyur and Manali have already complained of breathlessness.
Mahesh Krishnamoorthy, Convenor of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM), an RSS affiliate called upon the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to take immediate action in the matter and not to allow this to continue. While speaking to IANS, the SJM leader underlined: "The PCB has to study in detail what is happening in Tiruvottiyur and Manali. There are several highly polluting industries in Manali area and it has to be ascertained as to whether this is due to these polluting industries. If that is the case government must take stringent action against the same."
On Tuesday, four to five school children complained of eye irritation and medical checkups were conducted.
There were earlier reports of stack emissions by the Chennai Climate Action group based on 2019 and 2020 data of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and it has specifically pointed out there was laxity on the part of industries in Manali and Ennore to monitor and report emissions. Many environmentalists in Chennai point out that this may be the reason for the pungent odour that has been in the air for more than a fortnight.
Sujith Ramkumar of Climate Study Centre in Chennai while speaking to IANS said: "It has to be immediately ascertained on the reason for this odour. We have been monitoring the matter and have spoken to people from more than seven localities around the petrochemical clusters of Manali."
The state government must immediately direct the PCB to take up the matter and clear the issue as soon as possible.