Jagatsinghpur, May 19 (localWire): Illegal poultry farms mushrooming in different villages of Jagatsinghpur district, which were complained against last year, were ravaged by Fani two weeks ago and spreading pollution.
Locals are also afraid that there might be an outbreak of dengue as these farms have now turned into breeding grounds of flies and mosquitoes.
The villagers of Gamhapur under Raghunathpur block had expressed their concern with the rise of pollution due to poultry farms.
Led by Baishnab Charan Rout, the villagers sought the intervention of Orissa High Court for closure of these farms for creating environmental pollution in the locality last year.
A team of Odisha State Pollution Control Board conducted an inquiry on environmental pollution and found that the farm did not fall under OSPCB purview since it had less than one lakh birds.
The farm handling more than 5000 birds come under the local administration and as this farm had only 2000 birds the intervention of BDO, Raghunathpur was sought for appropriate action against the farm owner.
But the administration and the OSPCB failed to take action against the farm owners and the villagers filed a writ petition against the illegal poultry owner to the administration, OSPCB, tahsildar and others in 2018.
The High Court took cognisance of the complaint and directed the administration to close this poultry farm within 45 days of the communication of the order in March.
Later, the tehsildar of Raghunathpur, Debasish Panda, conducted an inquiry on 9 May in presence of villagers and farm owner but still now nothing has yet been done by the administration to close it.
Locals alleged that cultivation of paddy and vegetables have been severely affected due to release of effluents from these illegal poultry farms.
The neighbouring areas are full harmful effluents and stinks as these farms release harmful gases like ammonia, hydrogen sulphide. The area is strewn with poultry dust that contain bacteria and chicken skin debris.
Villagers said that the norms to set up a poultry farm, according to environmentalists was that it should not be located within 500 metres of residential zone, 200 metres from major water source like river, canals, 500 metres from drinking water reservoir, 150-200 meter away from national and state highways, 10-15 meters away from rural roads but the poultry farms in this district have flouted all norms.
They alleged that the poultry farm in Gamhapur flouted all norms and was surrounded by residential houses, village roads, canals, paddy fields creating unhealthy atmosphere due to which local inhabitants were facing health problems.