A Brief History of Madras
Pollution in Madras city
Air pollution & its health impacts
Water pollution & its health impacts
Impacts of poor solid waste management
Area : 172 sq.kms.
Population : 4,428,900 ( I981 census )
Altitude : Sea Level
Climate : Summer Max 37 C, Min 22.1 C; Winter Max 32 C, Min 19.8 C
Rainfall : 1272 m.m.
Clothing : Tropical
Languages Spoken : Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, Urdu and English
History of Madras
Madras, also known as Chennai, the gracious capital city of Tamil Nadu is the fourth largest metropolis in India. Located on a 17 km stretch of the Coromandel coast, the city is trisected by the rivers Cooum and Adyar and the Buckingham Canal. Chennai is a city that is growing, expanding and changing every year.
Popularly regarded as the 'Gateway to the South', Chennai represents a culture that is distinctly different from that of northern India. Music, dance and all other art forms of the South are cherished and nurtured in this city which, though industrialised, continues to be traditional and conventional in many ways.
Chennai is a city where the traditional and the modern mix in everyday life everywhere. From traditional vegetarian fare to fast foods, from nine-yard sarees to the latest in fashion, from ancient temple architecture to modern highrise - with Indo-Saracenic and Victorian as stops along the way - from classical music and dance to discos throbbing to heady beats, Chennai has them all and many more vivid contrasts that are a constant surprise. And perhaps the most striking of them all is that there is a modern metropolis with beaches, parks and even sanctuaries in the heart of the City. Chennai offers a wealth of Nature and a rich historic past to visitors in the ambience of a city with every modern facility.
in Madras city
The city may have state-of-the-art medical technology but it is also host to insanitary conditions, pollution and deteriorating air and water quality.
pollution & its health impacts
Due to air pollution, tuberculosis continues to be a major problem though there has not been a steep rise in the incidence in the last five years. Dr. K. Jagannath, of the Institute of Thoracic Medicine, said a study conducted four years ago found 25 per cent of children living in slums to be suffering from primary complex (the early stages of TB).
Dr. C. N. Deivanayagam, Superintendent of the TB sanatorium in Tambaram (a suburb), said the outpatient (OP) attendance at the hospital had doubled in the last five years and the bed occupancy rate had increased from 76.16 to 178.6 per cent. The number of outpatients had more than doubled from 143,135 in 1995 to 300,376 in 1995.
The number of asthma cases has also increased substantially, according to Dr. Deivanayagam. Most of the cases were reported from north Madras which is dotted by several polluting industries. Non-seasonal asthma is also prevalent, with complaints of sneezing and sinusitis becoming common. There is a slight increase in the fatalities due to acute asthma, according to Dr. Jagannath. He also finds a perceptible increase in the incidence of respiratory diseases.
pollution & its health impacts
Surveys conducted by the CPR Foundation over three consecutive years from 1992-93, showed groundwater to be of poor quality in many areas. In 1995-96, only two out of the 20 samples collected from different parts of the city were potable, in terms of chemical and bacteriological quality. The study also noted a high probability of groundwater getting contaminated due to seepage of sewage water from the waterways.
Contaminated waterways like the Adyar and the Cooum supply the city with hoardes of Armigeres mosquitoes, besides polluting groundwater resources. For those living on the banks of these rivers, diseases like typhoid and cholera strike with impunity.
The stagnation of water facilitates the breeding of the Anopheles mosquito
which spreads malaria. The city is notorious for water stagnation,
particularly during the monsoon. It also has innumerable open wells
and uncovered water tanks. Waterlogging is common at construction
sites but civic officials plead their inability to check it. The
stormwater drains in the city are faulty and clogged at many places.
"They offer a damp, dark place for the vector to breed," says Dr. Nandita
Krishna, Director, C. P. Ramaswamy Aiyar Foundation.
The stagnation of water and mixing of sewage with drinking water, a common enough problem in the city, also spread the disease. When water stagnation is acute, mere contact with such contaminated water is enough for the organism to enter the host. During the monsoon, the incidence rises rapidly, according to Dr. Muthusethupathy, Head of the Department of Nephrology, Madras Medical College.
According to official figures, diseases like malaria, filaria, acute diarrhoeal diseases (ADD), cholera, typhoid, hepatitis and tuberculosis have shown fluctuating trends over the last five years. The incidence of most of these diseases peaked in 1993 which witnessed torrential rain and floods. While malaria registered an all-time high with 76,749 cases, ADD affected 1 1,263 persons, cholera affected 4,666 persons and TB 503. However, the incidence of typhoid and hepatitis were relatively less. "Most often, despite conducive conditions, all the diseases may not manifest with the same intensity," says Dr. Vijayaraghavan.
Look at the facts: Chennai accounts for nearly 50 per cent of the total number of malaria cases and a mind-boggling 70 per cent of urban malaria in the State. Drug resistance is on the rise, so also the incidence of cerebral malaria caused by the deadly Plasmodium Falciparum. While elsewhere in the State, there was a 62 per cent decrease till September last year in the incidence of Falciparum malaria (compared to the corresponding period the previous year), Chennai reported an increase of about 60 per cent.
Endemic to filaria
of poor solid waste management