For instance, the problem of smoke pollution is still existing whether it is done by motorists because of the badly maintained condition of their vehicles or those employees from the Sugar Cane factories who keep setting fire to the sugar cane fields and create an opaque cloud of smoke on our roads and make driving hazardous.
When will the Ministry of Environment really means business by tackle the problem of smoke pollution by certain motorists on our roads?. The press recently reported on the magnitude of this problem based on extensive research and experiments carried out by experts on the effect of this type of pollution on the human system.
According to reports people entering the main Port Louis city could be exposing themselves to respiratory disorders and other cardiovascular ailments chiefly through inhaling noxious emissions of belching vehicles.
The gravity of the problem could be gauged by the fact that the content of Sulphur Dioxide ( which is detrimental to the human respiratory system) in the atmosphere had increased 169 fold above the safety level as set out by the Environmental regulations. This is in addition to the well-known effect of the lead content in gas emission leading to cancer.
The content of Nitrogen Dioxide in the atmosphere has also gone up. What is more alarming is the finding that a microscopic toxic substance pm10 is also entering the system of those forced to inhale the toxic sulphur dioxide.
The cumulative effect of this contamination of the human system needs no elaboration. Drastic steps are needed without losing time to stop this dangerous life-threatening phenomenon. What is unpardonable in this whole scenario is people keep using unroadworthy vehicles on our roads contrary to legislation.
It is a common site today in congested areas to see vehicles spewing thick clouds of black smoke. The most hilarious part of this whole exercise is to see policemen directing traffic at a busy roundabout wearing handkerchief masks to ward off pollution.
Could a more stark irony be imagined? Here we have a police force entrusted with enforcing the law and apprehending the offenders. But what do we see—the police implicitly colluding with the miscreants to break the law by wearing masks. Such are clear cases of offenders get away by default.
It is inconceivable that the Commissioner of Police is not aware of this state of affairs. He should forthwith get his men to enforce the law to the letter instead of being mere bystanders to this flagrant offence.
The authorities should also open their eyes and get cracking forthwith before the problem assumes serious proportions. They can do so by stringently applying the law in this regard and making belching vehicles out of bounds on our roads.
As it is, the country is saddled with many problems and could well do without causing harm to health of its citizens. A healthy notion is the greatest asset.
Belching vehicles spewing noxious emissions are not the only problem faced on our roads. The garbage problem too has assumed gigantic proportions. It is a common site to see mountains of garbage haphazardly dumped along roadsides. So we need strict legislation and severe penalties to combat these polluters.
I therefore appeal to the Minister of Environment to take the matter in hand seriously and solve this hazardous problem that is causing harm to our health condition.