The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) is set to issue showcause notice to Guru Gobind Singh Refinery in Talwandi Sabo for emitting poisonous gases like carbon monoxide,carbon dioxide,sulphar dioxide and hydrogen sulphide.
Residents of Kanakwal village in Talwandi Sabo have started scouting for new place to shift as poisonous and foul-smelling fumes keep billowing out from the multi-crore Bathinda refinery,known as Guru Gobind Singh Refinery. The poisonous fumes makes it difficult for us to breath. We gave in writing to the administration that we want to shift and it too has realised our problem, a villager said. The area adjoining Kanakwal,including Phullokhari village,also faces the same problem.
When contacted,PPCB Superintending Engineer Nazar Singh said: Though these gases have been found within permissible limits,but their continuous inhalation can be harmful for the residents. The most dangerous is hydrogen sulphide,which is spreading a bad odour and thus,causing discomfort among locals. He added that asthma patients can develop problems because of the odour of hydrogen sulphide.
While the censors of the refinery can detect this gas at 1 ppm,it starts spreading a foul odour even if the leakage is only 0.003 ppm. So,this is a serious issue and we have asked the refinery management to control this flaw. Continuous inhalation can affect the health of asthma patients and the ones with low immunity, said Singh.
Following instructions from PPCB,the refinery management has called a team from New Zealand to take care of these issues.
Besides Kanakwal and Phullokhari villagers in Bhatinda,the others facing similar problems included Assu and Dessu villages. Though they are located next to Kanakwal,these villages fall in Sirsa district of Haryana.