With a rising number of Shivaji Park residents being diagnosed with respiratory infections, alert citizens from the locality are taking up the matter of pollution in their locality with government agencies.
Residents alleged that poor maintenance of the Shivaji Park ground is causing dust pollution in the neighbourhood, apart from vehicular congestion and construction for redevelopment projects.
Take the case of Neha Bhatjiwale, 47, who was diagnosed with bronchial asthma, for which she needs to use an inhaler every day.
“I was shocked when doctors told me I had asthma. Last year, I was admitted to hospital after I suddenly felt that I just could not breathe,” said Bhatjiwale, who spends close to Rs1,500 every month on treatment.
Bhatjiwale is not the only one who suffers from bouts of wheezing and shortness of breath.
Many residents in the area are falling ill due to upper respiratory tract infections, caused by increased vehicular congestion, construction activity and increased concentration of dust particles in the air in their neighbourhood.
Another resident, Suhas Patwardhan, said, “This ground is one of the few open spaces in the city, where thousands of people come every day to exercise and walk. However, they are inhaling dust instead of clean air, due to dust pollution in and around the ground.” Patwardhan also suffers from bronchitis.
Confirming the rise in the number of cases, Dr Pratap Raut, a resident of Shivaji Park, said, “There has been a marked increase in pollution levels and dust all over the area. It has also been noticed that quite a lot of residents are suffering from upper respiratory diseases. It is a public ground and it is not maintained at all.”