Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Temperature exceeds forty degree Celsius in month of February!
That too in Bhubaneswar, which was earlier marked for rejuvenating wind-chill factor even in the summer!
Bhubaneswar is being boiled in greenhouse gases.
Known a few years ago as the city of the cool breeze, where saturated ozone from the nearby Mahodadhi of Puri (wrongfully called Bay of Bengal), was in constant union with the serene murmurs of the evergreen eco-system of Buddha’s birth land Chandaka, Bhubaneswar is almost dead during the regime of Navin Patnaik and his team.
The people who have killed the city’s unique climate are trying to hoodwink the world by contriving cosmetic decorations on main roadsides.
However, Navin had tried to save the city by formulating a total ban on cow and buffalo keeping inside Bhubaneswar under the Municipal Corporation Act, 2003, hereinafter called the Act of 2003.
But his officers in the General Administration Department and in the Bhubaneswar Development Authority and in the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation have together foiled his endeavor. A suspected bribe of around a crore of rupees plays the tricks.
Greenhouse gases cause the collapse of Bhubaneswar climate, say the environmentalists.
When to them, vehicular emissions and municipal waste are basic factors of this hazard; researchers are of firm opinion that cow dung produces more greenhouse gas than vehicular emissions. It is established that ammonia (NH3) evaporating from cow dung and urine play havoc with environment. Therefore steps were taken to clean Bhubaneswar completely of cowsheds through the Act of 2003.
The cowherds of Bhubaneswar had challenged this Law in the Orissa High Court through Orissa Milk Producers Association under the plea that by prohibiting cow keeping, the Government violates their right to life. The High Court had rejected their plea against which they had preferred a Civil Appeal before the Supreme Court of India, which was registered as Appeal (Civil) No. 940 of 2006.
In delivering its judgment on February 2, 2006, the Apex Court had rejected the Appeal and had stressed that clean environment constituting the core of Fundamental right to Life of the peoples, the gowalas cannot have the right to ruin that. Thus saying, it mandated that the Government of Orissa as well as the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation must ensure that the Act of 2003 is implemented sans any compromise and the cowherds are ousted forthwith to keep the city free of filth and stench.
It was a boon to Orissa administration with which Bhubaneswar environment could have been saved.
But the mandarins, starting from the State Chief Secretary to the BMC Commissioner, whosoever could have played any role in executing the Act of 2003 on renewed strength of the Supreme Court verdict, have willfully refused to use the boon.
It was heard on the grapevines that after defeat in the Supreme Court, the milkmen decided to purchase the support of these officers to render the failure of their Appeal in the Supreme Court inconsequential and to keep the Act of 2003 inoperative. It was heard that there are cowherds who contribute to achieve the purpose at the rate of rupees four thousand per month.
These functionaries were confronted with this allegation in these pages as well as through mails. But none of them has rejected the allegation as yet.
Around four thousand cowherds are operating illegal diaries in the city on encroached plots in blatant contravention of the Act of 2003. Consequently the city has become a den of nitrous oxide, methane and other greenhouse gases as well as noxious stinks produced by these illegal cowsheds.
Though in highly developed countries methane gas is the second-largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions after carbon dioxide, in a place like Bhubaneswar it is the largest. An adult cow emits 80 to 110 kilograms of methane gas over its lifetime. Four thousand illegal cowsheds in Bhubaneswar harbor at least 4,00,000 adult cows at the rate of 100 per shed in the average. Imagine where the mandarins have dragged Bhubaneswar to by not executing the Act of 2003 and by rendering inconsequential the judgment of the Supreme Court that had added strength to this Act.
In these pages, there are reports on how journalist Bibhuti Mishra and his wife Rubi have passed away in young age because of pollution caused by a cowshed in the government plot adjacent to their residence. The cowherds operating on encroached government land use dry cow dung for cooking as well as for making clouds of smoke to repel mosquitoes from the dingy sheds where they usually keep the cows. Arsenic is a known poison that burning of cow dung creates.
Inhalation of arsenic leads to severe respiratory problems and metabolic disorders. The lamented young couple, Bibhuti and Rubi, supposedly succumbed to that poison.
But the grease from gowalas is seemingly so lucrative for the mandarins that even though the brother-in-law of Bibhuti, Ajit Kumar Tripathy is the Chief Secretary of the State, no step is being taken to stop arsenic spread in Bhubaneswar by executing the Act of 2003.
Is it not time for Navin Patnaik to clear the doubts by reviewing and explaining as to why the mandarins from Chief Secretary Tripathy to BMC Commissioner Sarangi have not taken effective steps to demolish the cowsheds and to evict the cowherds and to free the government plots from their encroachments and to save Bhubaneswar from pollution, from the hazards of nitrous gases, from arsenic poison, from ammonia, from filth of cow dung and stench and from abnormal rise of temperature and collapse of its habitable climate under impact thereof?
Is it not time for these mandarins to tell the public as to why after the milkmen’s appeal failed in the Supreme Court on February 2, 2006, they have not executed the Act of 2003 and have not freed the city of the bovine-based hazards in terms of the said Act, if they have not been bribed?
If they are not bribed to render the Supreme Court order inconsequential and to keep the Act of 2003 inoperative, they should, specifically the Chief Secretary of the State, Ajit Kumar Tripathy and the BMC Commissioner Aparajita Sarangi, tell the people, from whose exchequer they draw their salary, clearly as to who else is responsible for this offense against the Laws.
As temperature is rising under impact of greenhouse gases mostly coming from cowsheds, the responsibility of these mandarins is also rising to clarify as to whom the tortured inhabitants of Bhubaneswar should hold responsible for non-implementation of the Act that has strongly prohibited continuance of diaries and cowsheds in the capital city.