Thursday, April 15, 2010

City becoming metro of illnesses

City becoming metro of illnesses
Bangalore, Apr 14, DHNS:

Unrelenting exposure to dust, sand and construction residues has affected the well being of the citizens in areas where Bangalore Metro Rail Construction Limited construction work is in progress.

The ramifications of infrastructure development is slowly taking its toll on adults as well as children in the City. With the rising incidents of respiratory infection cases, Bangalore seems to have been anointed as the country’s asthma capital. The Bangalore Metro is only one of the projects that is making residents susceptible to respiratory infections.

Rajesh Babu, a business man residing in Byappanahalli is appaled by the changes brought about in the quality of life by the `infrastructure development’. Travelling through the stretch of road where construction works are on cause uneasiness eventually leading to infections.

“I have visited the doctor thrice in two months due to constant infection leading to dry cough. The doctor has advised me to stay away from dust, as my body has become allergic to dust and indoor pollution,” Babu says. Ruefully, he says that he cannot shift his house in Byappanahalli.

More visits to doctor

Mahesh Kumar, a State government employee says the frequency of visits to the doctor has increased for his children. “Both my children have been sick with respiratory infection. Adults are able to withstand the dust and pollution, but children are sensitive and hence more susceptible,” he says.

Things remain the same at the other end of the City in Rajajinagar. K Ravi, a chartered accountant attributes the woes of the citizens suffering from allergies and respiratory infection to the untimely clearance of the mounds of waste at the Metro construction sites.

“The increase of pollution, particularly due to non-clearance of the residual dust of Metro construction is phenomenal,” he says. The problem, he says has been on the rise with narrower roads and no escape from the pollution.

“If Namma Metro takes one- and- half years to widen the road, it takes another one- and- half years to complete it. In such a scenario residents are bound to face problems,” he added.

There has been an increase in the number of allergy cases reported at City hospital in Rajajinagar. “We have been receiving people with complaints of dust allergies and cough attributed to the Metro construction nearby,” said a duty doctor in City Hospital.

Constant exposure to dust, pollution leads to allergies and in the worst cases, exposure to such particles can lead to asthma attack. Doctors believe that daily exposure might lead to a group of respiratory diseases called ‘pneumoconiosis’.

Dr Abhay Kattepur said children are more sensitive to dust particles and remnants of construction, adding that initial allergic reaction might lead to complication in the future drastically affecting the immune system.

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