Ennore river and creek turn bleak

Waste released by thermal power stations and industries situated around Ennore creek jeopardize the health of the residents. Fly ash and heavy metal waste pollute the Ennore creek and the Kosastallaiyar River which causes various skin infections, respiratory problems, typhoid, and malaria.

Furthermore, the two ports of Ennore - Kamarajar Port and Kattupally Port, dump sand into the ocean that affect the salt pans, wetlands, and magroves of the region. If this wasn't enough, the construction of the various railway bridges over the rivers make them incapable of handling floods.

Shredded plastic near Ennore Municipal Corporation

“Unfit to Breath” a study conducted by the Coastal Resource Centre states that the particulate matter (PM) of various heavy metals exceed the permitted limits. Consequently, the village residents suffer from cancer, asthma, bronchitis, and other diseases. PM2.5 are particles that are smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter and are extremely detrimental to our health. Due such a tiny size they can sink deep into our lungs and cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. The study found that the levels of PM2.5 in Ennore were unhealthy.

Source: http://www.sipcotcuddalore.com/downloads/unfit_to_breathe.pdf

Residents of Ennore never went to work in Ashok Leyland when it was set up in 1970. But due to a decline in the number of fishes, and a loss of their primary livelihood, they reluctantly joined the factory.

“I live near a slum of fishermen and I find women and children to be the most affected. Due to the smoke released by the Ashok Leyland factory, the people suffer from respiratory diseases such as asthma”, said J. Bhaskar, a marketing executive.

“The doctor advised my pregnant wife to be careful of the smoke coming out of these industries. Minor problems are treatable in here in Ennore but for major problems we have to travel far away to Chennai city”, said Bhaskar.

A study titled “The impact of water pollution on the socio-economic status of the stakeholders of Ennore Creek, Bay of Bengal (India)” published in Indian Journal of Science and Technology states that close to 40% of the sick residents suffer from tuberculosis and wheezing cough.

Finishing the Fishes
“The estuaries are polluted and we have to go deep into the sea to fish. Due to the pollution the fish are dying. We can’t survive like this”, said Anandan K, a distraught fisherman.

The health of the citizens is endangered and so it is their occupation. The fisherwomen in a fish market in Thazhamkuppam complained of loss of sales due to less and less fish being caught due to the pollution. An older fisherwoman also asked for some money as she didn’t make any good sales.

Fisher women of Ennore

“We have taken up the matter with the fishing union but to no avail. All we do is protest but the government doesn’t seem to recognize our plight”, said S Rajesh, a fisherman living in Nettukuppam. The fishefolk have lost their catch due

Boats lie abandoned on the shore of the Ennore creek

In the wake of such difficulties comes the news of the shutting of Ennore Thermal power plant. A senior TANGEDCO official, while talking to the Deccan Chronicle, confirmed that Ennore power plant is going to shut by March 31, 2017. The power plant is not going to get new supplies of coal and is going to run till the existing supply of coal lasts.

Hopefully, the government takes precaution to not build structures on the salt pans, mangroves, and wetlands.

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