Nuwakot : Ratamate in Belkotgadhi Municipality-7 of Nuwakot district has been witnessing thick fog till late morning these days. Large clouds of black smoke along with thick fog has been creating problem for the people to identify the object of less than 100 meter.
But, the situation was different 10 years ago. People could clearly see the object of some distance away despite thick fog. One could see a perfectly cloudless sky after a dense fog. People used to feel warm sun and the surrounding environment used to be clear.
But, people have to wait for the afternoon to feel the warmth of sun these days and sometime there will be depressingly dark and gloomy weather throughout the day. People have been facing this kind of situation because of climate change, increasing levels of dust in the air caused by the on-going road expansion, rapid urbanization and haphazard establishment of brick kilns among others.
Smoke emitted from the factories and industries for almost 24 hours is the main reason behind this problem. One can easily assume that the smoke has also been affecting the environment of this area. Smoke, dust and chemical pollutants emitted continuously from those factories and industries have been adversely affecting the human health.
Though increasing number of factories have been causing environmental pollution in the country, it has also been causing negative impact to the children. Some locals have been raising their voices against this situation, but the concerned authority has not been showing any interest to resolve this problem. Some people have been staying quiet with the confidence that the concerned authority will resolve this plight because these factories have been providing water and other facilities to them.
Urging Hakahaki to take their problem to the concerned authority, local Bhuwandas Shrestha said, “We cannot stay at the terrace due to smoke. Smoke has been entering our houses and affecting the eyes of our children. We urge you to take this problem to the concerned authority.”
Similarly, Prahlad Bhakta Rai, whose house is close to a garment factory, said, “We know that the smoke has been affecting our health. But, we have not spoken anything yet because the concerned authority has promised us to resolve the problem.” Factories and brick kilns among others have affected other areas also. Farmer Raj Kumar Bhatta of Belkotgadhi-9 said that the black fog has been affecting the production of potatoes. “The sky used to be clear during the time of potato cultivation in the past. Now, it is very difficult to see the sun,” he said.
When Hakahaki inquired Nuwakot Chief District Officer Dron Pokharel about this issue, he said that they are coordinating with the local agency to resolve this problem. “Various criteria have been set for the operation of factories. The factories should be operated according to the same,” he said, adding, “People have been operating many factories by taking approval from the local agencies at present. We will investigate about his issue in a broader way. We will take action against the local agencies if they are found giving approval to the people to operate the factories.”