Growth of a city is identified by the overall
infrastructural upliftment. Forming the life line of any city are its roads. In
the name of development Mangalore has many parts of the cityís roads turned
upside down. Whether itís the National Highway 17 or K S Rao Road, Bejai main road
or Hampankatta, most of the main roads are under repair. Infrastructure
projects like these are creating an every day nuisance to commuters who regularly
ply on these routes. In the race to concretization the cityís projects are
slowly proving to be a health hazard to many. Take for example the stretch of
NH 17 from Kottara cross to Kadri. It has been almost one year since a fly over
is under construction and development has been at snail speed. Delay in the
project would only lead to more dust and gravel being released leading to a
multitude of health complications.
The eyes are the most sensitive sense organ and dusty roads are
the most common cause of ailments of the eye. Most often the eye is affected by
allergies. Dust released from the roads causes allergic conjunctivitis.
Patients usually complain of scratching and the eyes release water constantly.
Repeated itching and watering may in some cases lead to permanent damage. Dust
particles settle on the underside of the eye lid .Constant presence of dust
leads to bacterial growth which cause complications of the eye. Not only this
it may also lead to irritation due to blinking and a sandy feeling. Bacteria
settled on the eye lids also cause infection of various sorts. The eye is an
organ with many pores. These pores need to breathe. But when dust collects and
blocks the pores it can lead to a stye. Eyes may also dry due to collection of
dust. A condition known as Pterigium where in the eye is always red happens
because of the bacteria. The best preventive measure to escape from these
troubles is wearing sunglasses while riding two wheelers.
Apart from the eye, the lungs also suffer on these roads.
Patients with Asthma and respiratory diseases are the worst affected. The
pulmonary ailments are sensitive to dust and exasbaration of diseases occur
because of this. People with breathing troubles experience inconvenience and
suffer. Dust is the most common cause for diseases of the lung. Pollution can cause a decrease in the functioning of
the lung. Due to long periods of travel on these roads it adversely affects the
lungs. Common symptoms include nasal
allergy, running nose, water discharge, nose blocks and sneezing. Masks are the
only way to prevent one from the ill effects of dust. Industrial masks have to
be used and not the regular masks. Using them can prevent nasal allergy. Smoke
which causes Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is also a dangerous
hazard. It can sometimes cause permanent damage.
Dust allergy also causes irritation to the skin. Itching and
dryness are the most common. Apart from these Air borne contact dermatitis (ABCD)
is a very common ailment. The main parts of the skin which are affected are the
folds, like eye lids,neck,ear and forearms. Exposure to dust also causes
acne.When Iron Ore carried on trucks comes in contact with
the skin it can also lead to ABCD. Roads have cement filled in potholes and
when the skin comes in contact it causes dermatitis. Foliculitis is another
bacterial infection which infects the hair follicle and other hairy areas.
Atopic dermatitis , is another complication which affects school children as their
skin is hypersensitive. The cement risen from potholes have the skin flared up.
One of the most dangerous affects of bad roads affect the to
be born. Pregnant women fall in the high
risk category. If jerks fall during early pregnancy then there can be an
abortion.Lung infections due to dust affects the baby. If at all rupturing of
the protective membrane occurs then it might lead to a premature delivery. If
this happens then the costs incurred in keeping the baby in NICU is very high.
In some cases there could be bleeding of the placenta and the woman may lose
the baby. The best way to prevent these hazardous conditions is for pregnant
women to avoid buses and autos. They must preferably travel by car.
With so many unhealthy conditions caused by roads which are
under construction , the Corporation and local authorities must take care that
dust and other hazardous wastes from the construction work must be under
control. They must take measures to minimize the amount of dust being released from these sites.