The inmates of Ludhiana Central Jail have complained of severe water and air pollution caused by the 120 dyeing units located near the jail premises on Tajpur road in Ludhiana.
Saying that they are being “pushed towards death”, the inmates, in a written complaint to to jail superintendent, stated, “We are suffering from several diseases related to eyes, stomach and skin. Our vision is getting low due to severe air pollution here. Nearby dyeing units are releasing smoke and ash every hour and also contaminating water which is leading to health problems among inmates in this jail. We are keeping unwell due to pollution here. Many inmates have died also in the past due to different diseases. We are also being pushed towards death. Our lives are also precious as our families are waiting for us outside and after completing our punishment here, we want to live a healthy life with them. Hence, you are requested to take some step to find a solution to pollution problem here,’ says the letter signed by inmates.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Shamsher Singh, jail superintendent, said, “There is an extreme problem of air and water pollution here due to dyeing units releasing smoke and untreated water here. Not only inmates, even families of staff living in quarters are facing problems. Everyone including inmates have right to live in clean pollution free environment but it is getting intolerable here. Inmates are getting irritation in eyes and skin troubles. Contaminated water is leading to stomach issues. I have forwarded their complaint letter to DGP (Prisons) and other seniors.”
Ludhiana (East) Congress MLA Sanjay Talwar who visited jail Saturday, said that he received letter signed by inmates.
“PPCB is simply doing nothing. They are not taking any action despite our multiple complaints to seal unauthorized units who are releasing smoke and untreated water. I have completely lost faith in PPCB and now my own vigilante teams will be keeping a check on dyeing units overnight to catch those creating pollution,” said Talwar adding that “Due to lethargic and non serious approach of PPCB, they fear none. They are violating norms blatantly.”
The jail superintendent also submitted a list of other necessities missing in the jail which include: an ambulance, repair of roads which are in pathetic state, 20 LED lights, regular supply of medicines, five RO systems required to purify drinking water, two computers and a printer to implement e-prison scheme, a photocopy machine and regular fogging by civic body to prevent dengue among others.
“It is our request to higher authorities to look into these issues. Inmates living here are also humans and so are families of staff members,” said jail superintendent.