Berhampur, December 16 (LocalWire): The state’s commercial hub may not have industries that pollute the city environment but the quality of air in Berhampur may cause breathing discomfort to people with lung disease, and discomfort to people with heart disease, children and older adults.

According to the shocking report, the latest air quality index (AQI) released by the Pollution Control Board (PCB), the air quality in Berhampur is not clean enough to breathe.

“The rising dust from broken roads and smoke from heavy vehicular traffic are some of the reasons behind the air pollution in the Silk City,” State-level Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) member and former director of Center of Environmental Studies (CES) Sailabala Padhy said.

“Dust from the battered roads and construction of buildings along with the smoke billowing from old vehicles, moving at snail’s pace in the city contribute majorly to the air pollution,” she said, adding that the smoke emitting from the brick-kiln in the nearby areas also pollute the air quality.

She further stated that almost all roads in the city are broken after they were dug up for laying pipes under the Janibili Drinking Water Project.

“The dust generated from these broken roads is affecting the air quality in the city,” she said.

According to environmental activist Sudhir Rout, while burning of stubble might be a reason of concern in other cities, the cause of air pollution in Berhampur is the smoke emitted from vehicles and potholed roads.

“The quality of air in the city is worsening in the evening hours and we are forced to cover our nose to avoid breathing in so much dust,” a businessman Sudarshan Mohanty said, adding that the authorities need to pay immediate attention to this.

Responding to the allegations, Berhampur Municipal Corporation commissioner Chakravarti Singh Rathore said that they have been sprinkling water from time to time in the city, in areas where the corporation was undertaking works.

He, however, refused to comment on anything about the work by other agencies.