Residents enraged about pungent river

Residents of Nea Philadelphia and Nea Halkidona, in northwestern Athens, are angry over the increasingly polluted Podoniftis River, which they say poses a major health risk and is engulfing them in a strong stench. According to a residents’ group, local manufacturers dump toxic waste into the river as well as on its banks, polluting its waters and releasing an overpowering smell. In summer, the stench was so pungent, and the cloud of mosquitoes so thick, that residents say they had keep their windows closed at all times. «The situation with the Podoniftis – along with the Kifissos River – highlights once again the necessity of measuring pollution,» said Dinos Laskaris of the residents’ group. «We should find out, once and for all, who is polluting our environment,» he added, noting that current inspections are not systematic and rarely lead to any indictments.