Nallagandla residents up in arms over 24x7 illegal construction work; study shows pollution is 4x above normal

Occupants of the gated community expressed concerns about health issues, They shared that complaints of respiratory problems such as cough, asthma have now become common in the community.

HYDERABAD: Residents in Nallgandla are up in arms against the 24x7 construction activity in the area which is posing severe health hazards like asthma and skin infections apart from noise and sound pollution.

The inmates of Aparna Sarovar have been protesting against two projects surrounding the gated community, one which started couple of years ago (Aparna Ziacon) and one about a month ago (Aparna Towers). Worse, the construction activity is going on and builder has not put up any screens or temporary structures to shield the dust from entering the community.

Occupants of the gated community expressed concerns about health issues, with elderly and children being the worst affected, They shared that complaints of respiratory problems such as cough, asthma have now become common in the community.

One of the residents B Mahesh Reddy said, "People are suffering from throat infections, asthma and other ailments because of cement dust blowing over. I am 56-years-old. I have been allergic and am having throat issues for the last eight months because of this construction activity. My doctor has asked me to move out and stay away from pollution.

"We are unable to walk even though there is a walking track of one km inside the community. We are only staying indoors. If we leave our balcony door open even for an inch, dust accumulates so much on the floor that you can write on it. Imagine that is the same air our lungs are breathing! This has to stop now," he added.

Keerthi, a doctor, said that her house directly faced one of the construction sites, exposing her family to noise and air pollution. Sharing her ordeal, Keerthi said, "I have been having migraine issues because of the noise. I can't sleep because of the activity all through the night. My son has respiratory issues. I have installed air purifiers at home but are ineffective. We are unable to open doors and balconies. There is so much cement dust that gathers in our premises."

It is not just people. Residents say that even plants are getting affected.

"Concrete mixing is in full swing and there is a lot of noise. Also, just see how my balcony plants have died. I replaced them for the fourth time in last three months but none of them are surviving," shared a community member Rajiv.

2x to 4x pollution recorded through study

Kavita Vemuri, a resident of Aparna Sarovar who also is a faculty in IIIT-Hyderabad, conducted a study to measure pollution levels surrounding the gated community and the results were shocking.

"We conducted a study for eight months and placed censor pods on many floors in four different blocks to measure the 2.5 and 10 levels of oxide, and indoor gases including organic and inorganic volatile gases. Shockingly, the levels of oxide have crossed 2x to 4x levels. This level of pollution was recorded even over 200 yards away which is striking.

"There is a concrete plant which runs at around 1:30 am and people especially children and senior citizens have been complaining of asthma. When the wind picks up the dust, it hits the building. The study showed that if you open your windows and doors, the dust outside comes in which causes a lot of respiratory problems. If you close the windows and doors, carbon dioxide and monoxide levels go up which is equally dangerous," she added.

Despite complaints of construction activity, the authorities aren't taking any action.

Srikiran Sarvepalli, an IT employee and a resident of Aparna Sarovar, said, "Construction is going on in two sides of our community 24x7. There are no screens or curtains put up. We can't even step out for a walk because of the dust. How can we wear masks 24x7? When we call the police, they warn the builders who stop all activities. But once they leave, they start all over again. Even the cops are irritated. They shared that they can't keep sending police again and again."

The residents are now planning to protest not just against pollution, but also for heavy congestion in the area leading to traffic and drainage issues.

"Because of several high rises in Nallagandla, the groundwater levels have taken a hit. Many smaller apartments and residents who have been living here for years, are now slowly becoming dependent on tankers. Also they don't have a proper drainage system. Their untreated sewage is being let off into University of Hyderabad (UoH). Not sure who cleared these permissions," said Kavita.

The next protest on February 18, 2024.

Next Story

Similar Posts