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'Spitting Black Phlegm, Breathing Black Soot': How Graphite India Continues to 'Pollute' With Impunity

Leaky roofs through which graphite dust escapes and emissions beyond permissible limit has left the residents around breathing black soot, leading them to fight for its closure.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:October 2, 2018, 10:18 AM IST
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'Spitting Black Phlegm, Breathing Black Soot': How Graphite India Continues to 'Pollute' With Impunity
Black soot as seen on the feet of a child. (Image courtesy: Change.org)
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Bengaluru: More than a week after the pollution control board officials visited the Graphite India Limited company in Bengaluru's Whitefield following complaints of pollution, the board is yet to submit its observations on the violations it found in the factory premises.

Leaky roofs through which graphite dust escapes and emissions beyond permissible limit has left the residents around breathing black soot, leading them to fight for its closure.

Repeated complaints and decade-long cases have not been any hindrance for the factory's functioning in this part of the city, the residents say.

"We need to clean our house every half an hour. There's black graphite dust settling everywhere that we inhale. Kids can't play outside. It is as if we need to cage them inside to keep away from this," says Sudhanshu Mohanty, a resident who lives near the factory.

It is not just the houses surrounding the factory but locals have complained about dust settling even in the hospital across the street.

"People come in with kids. They shout at us asking why the floor isn't cleaned. We would have cleaned just five minutes ago," says Michael A, housekeeping supervisor, RxDx hospital.

When contacted, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board Chairman Lakshman told CNN-News18 that the board was yet to submit its observations on the violations by the factory to the NGT.

"We have also given the company a notice. They are yet to respond. We will decide the next step after that," said Lakshman while adding that the company had to respond within seven days.

The effects are not just the visible ones - the black soot everywhere, say the locals. Another staff, Chithra Haridas of the RxDx hospital complained of spitting out black phlegm during the course of an Ayurvedic treatment.

"I have been working here for more than five years now. I did not know then what was wrong. We, those working here, have a strange feeling in our throats at the end of the day," said Chitra.

When CNN-News18 contacted two senior employees of Graphite India Limited, they refused to comment.
| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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