Kharghar on edge: A spot of chemical sins?

Nov 8, 2022

The air filled with a foul chemical odour that everyone chooses to inhale throughout the night will make the Kharghar region a hotspot of life-threatening diseases. It seems people invite a disaster with their notoriously miserable response to all serious issues. Sadly, the otherwise strict Pollution Control Board dozed off on this uncontrolled odour pollution that is now killing people inch-by-inch.

We, the humans, are extremely strange. For luxury, money, and a better life, we destroy our health by eating unhealthy foods, drinking contaminated water, and breathing polluted air. We seem to be okay with spending money on medicine and doctors. Understanding the nature of humans sometimes becomes difficult.

It regularly occurs to me that my nights of sleep are disturbed by an awful stink of chemicals. I often wake up at midnight. I close all the windows most nights to suffer eventual suffocation and deprive myself of sound sleep. I don’t think it is only me who suffers from this. Sadly, I stopped my favourite morning walk long ago due to this noxious stinking. Kharghar and Panvel residents are not new to this. The stink is unbearable in the morning, and most Khargharians do not bother about this untold disaster.

Kharghar was once known to be a promising destination in Navi Mumbai. Many people have moved into the region being an open location. Sadly, now Kharghar greets people with a toxic chemical smell. Noxious chemical tanks and drainages open up at 8 p.m. to let the poisonous gas plague the entire night which keeps residents sleepless until 8 a.m. Residents cannot open their windows until 10 AM. No one bothers it because there are big brand hospitals around to care for their health problems. I wonder how we take certain silly things seriously and certain serious things not seriously.

We are spoiling our energy to address these matters and to fight energetically in the streets for corrupt political parties. People fight each other for car parking but not for good air to breathe. They fight vigorously when someone jumps the billing line at malls and cinema theatres but never for clean drinking water.

Why do the high-profile people staying in Kharghar have no problems with the bad air they breathe, which may eventually cripple their children with life-threatening ailments? It is possible that chemical factory owners also inhale the same highly polluted air. However, they are not bothered about the serious issue. NGOs marched against these factories. Later, they relinquished the plan and swapped their mission for unknown reasons.

The Bhopal gas leakage in 1984 killed 3800 people making lakhs of people suffer the worst in their life. Recently there was an incident of gas leakage in Visakhapatnam that took several lives. Those kinds of incidents occur in places where there are chemical factories. Accidents in chemical factories are not rare, and a lack of serious approach towards this can keep killing people in multiple ways. The routine discharge of toxic wastes and operational accidents are common occurrences. However, when we are too busy chasing our bread and butter and luxury in life, we ignore such serious issues. We are angry with Warren Anderson but not with the local chemical factories, which also kill people by slow poisoning.

Even though the Bhopal gas leakage was the most disastrous chemical gas tragedy in Indian history, Anderson could flee with the help of the Indian government because government officials priced Warren Anderson more than the value of citizens’ life. On the other side, we close our eyes against the poison slowly getting injected into us. Many residents may not even feel the foul smell around their homes or do not recognise the harmfulness of the air. Unfortunately, India is a densely populated country, as a result, governments are not too interested in the lives of their citizens, the vote is a matter for them not the life. Road accidents and other disasters are not serious matters for the government.

I do not know which chemical factories are making the lives of people so awful. One thing is sure if citizens want these factories to be out of their vicinity and work united by putting pressure on the government and local governing body, the polluting chemical factories can move away. It becomes easier if the people who granted permission for factories also are victims of the polluted air. Influential housing developers will act when people refuse to buy properties in these areas. The developers are concerned about the value of the property. Buyers may not choose an unhealthy location. Polluting locations will have no takers by which builders can be at a loss. They are highly influential, and their influences can make the air clean.

Where there are issues to respond to, we do not do it; where there are no issues to respond to, we respond to them.