Healthy Bangaloreans might go extinct by 2020
K Shiva Kumar
MYSORE: Bangalore will not have any healthy people left in 15 years if the government fails to arrest soaring pollution levels in both urban and rural levels. This grim warning came from Vision Group 2020, a panel comprising of eminent personalities from the state, constituted for making Karnataka a developed state. In a meeting held in Mysore to devise a New Industrial Policy for the state, representatives from the Vision Group observed that the pollution levels and congestions posed a threat to people even in residential areas which house more than 8,000 small scale industries (SSIs). Criticising successive governments for failing to shift the SSIs out of the city in a phased manner, the group said that the situation would further worsen as there are already 1.5 lakh SSIs in Bangalore alone.The majority of SSIs located at Ramaiah Industrial area, Jaibharathi, Maruthi, Kamakshi Palya, Peenya industrial area, Hosur Road, K R Puram, Yelahanka and Mysore road are into plating, chemical toning and hard-crome plating. Efforts to shift these hazardous industries have repeatedly failed. The group said that the Industries and Commerce department, Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board and Karnataka State Small Industries Devlopment Corporation should take the blame for this mess as they were supposed to acquire land for shifting the red-category SSIs working in residential areas. Air pollution levels have also hit alarming levels. Pollution levels are said to be at a record high at Mysore Road. According to pollution board authorities, the Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) is 305 microgram against a minimum of 140. Speaking at the meet, former president of Peenya Industrial Association (PIA) A Padmanabha said that many of the industrial areas have no common effluent treatment plants, green belt or buffer zones. He asked the government identify suitable land and shift SSIs out of residential area in phased manner providing suitable land at subsidised rates. The Vision Group, taking note of alarming situation, said that its immediate aim is to create buffer zones to demark both residential and industrial areas and acquire land to bring down pollution and vehicular traffic pressure inside the city.