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23 Jul 2019, Edition - 1470, Tuesday

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Coimbatore

Black smoke from TNSTC buses causing respiratory problems

AT Jahar

The spewing of thick black smoke by TNSTC buses has become cause of concern for people in Coimbatore district.

Around 2,000 TNSTC buses ply in the district and nearly 500 buses were said to be highly polluting the atmosphere owing to lack of proper maintenance. This has been admitted by a former official of TNSTC.

The smoke emitted by these buses is causing respiratory problems for people. To add to this has been the felling of trees around Avinashi Road, Trichy Road, Mettupalayam Road and Sathy Road as part of road-widening. This has added to the pollution level in these areas, said social activist A Kuppuraj.

Regional transport office officials should check this and impose a ban on such unfit buses, he added.

The thick smoke from these buses make visibility on the road difficult at times, said motorist K Lenin. This can lead to accidents, he adds. “Though I use helmet and mask which riding a two-wheeler, I have respiratory problems. Either the State Government should provide new buses or take steps to repair the old ones,” he said.
The smoke on the road is also cause for irritation in the eye, says K Babu from the area. He says he too has developed respiratory problems owing to the polluted atmosphere.

Doctors in some of the private hospitals said that continuous inhaling of such air can turn the pink-coloured lung tissues be covered with dark particles of smog, dust and other pollutants. This can make the lungs more vulnerable to infection.

“A major contributor to air pollution is smoke from vehicles. They emit toxic, exhaust fumes that contain certain poisonous chemicals, including carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, formaldehyde, benzene and soot and carcinogenic compounds. Hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides contribute to smog, damaging lung tissues and aggravating respiratory diseases. Some major respiratory problems caused are asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia and upper respiratory tract infection. Long-term effects of air pollution include serious diseases like cancer,” said Dr E Mathivanan of a private hospital.

“Regional Transport Office inspectors are checking vehicles regularly and in case a vehicle emits black smoke beyond the limit we take strict action and also inform TNSTC officials,”said S Udaya Kumar, Regional Transport Officer, Coimbatore Central.

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