Is this the development we were longing for…

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-Smrity Roy

Lucknow: Rosa, the name indeed is beautiful but there is nothing rosy about this place. A small town in the district of Shahjahanpur in U.P, Rosa can be touted as a picture of ‘development’ because this place has three large industries; a thermal power plant, a distillery and a sugar mill. But there is no development in the lives of the people who live in surrounding villages. On the contrary, these plants have brought misery in the lives of people through unchecked pollution, both air and water.

Electricity is one of those basic requirements in the present times. India wants more electricity and to fulfil this requirement more and more power plants need to be set up by the government.

Burning coal adds a number of pollutants into the environment. The Rosa Thermal Power Plant a 1,200-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station at Rosa village, owned and operated by Reliance Power has very generously added to this pollution. The detrimental impact of the power plant could be witnessed in the villages nearby.

Pollutants and health

The three main pollutants from coal-fired power stations are Sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and invisible particulate matter (known as PM10 or PM2.5)

Collectively, they act as irritants and cause inflammation in the lungs leading to asthma, chronic lung disease, and restricted lung growth in children. The small particles (PM2.5 and smaller) are associated with lung cancer and are also absorbed through the lungs into the blood stream to cause angina, heart attacks and strokes.

According to a study by the University of Maryland and the US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released on 9  November, 2017. India’s Sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions–due to burning of coal – increased 50 percent while China’s emissions fell by 75 percent since 2007.

How Daniyapur was destroyed

Daniyapur a village situated in western  Uttar Pradesh is surrounded by three toxic agents first is the coal fired power plant  second is a leading brand’s brewery and to top it all a sugar mill. The three units have left no stone unturned in ruining the village and bestowing the villagers with severe health concerns.

Air and Water quality has degraded

The village had a picturesque past with its rich flora and fauna but with the onset of these “developments” all the richness started withering away. The air and warer quality has degraded over the past few years.

The village has two perennial rivers, Grra and Knnaut. The hazardous waste from the three industries are dumped in the two rivers making the river water toxic and the aquatic life.  According to locals the ground water of the village to seem to be affected.

Health concerns among the villagers

Hari Ram comes forward showing numerous blisters on his forehead, when he consulted the doctor he learnt that the water he was drinking is not fit for consumption.  During a visit to Daniyapur The2is team found that most of the villagers were complaining about respiratory diseases caused due to fly ash from the thermal power plant. The agricultural lands went barren.

According to the villagers 30% to 40% people are suffering from respiratory diseases. The fly ash and pollutants in the air have led to asthma, chronic lung disease among the villagers.

 Employment for locals in the power plant

In a conversation with the power plant’s operational head Hirday Tomar mentioned that they have tried to incorporate the employable population in the power plant. The major challenge they are facing is that of the unskilled labour.

The villagers aren’t skilled enough to work at the power plants and now they don’t even have a resort to agriculture as the land is no longer fit for cultivation. All you could see is vast stretches of barren land.

The power plant has adopted a near by ITI college to train the villagers and make them skilled enough to work at the power plant. They have also started with an apprentice course for the villagers so that they can be skilled enough to work at the power plant.

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