Air quality at ‘severe’ level, Ghaziabad may urgently implement graded plan
The AQI in Ghaziabad stood at 404 on October 30 with Bhiwadi coming second with 386. On October 31, the AQI was 439.delhi Updated: Nov 02, 2017 00:24 IST
The deteriorating air quality in Ghaziabad, which has been hovering around the ‘severe’ mark for past three days, may force the authorities to immediately take some drastic steps.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board’s air quality index (AQI), on October 30 and 31 and November 1, the city’s AQI was among the worst in India.
The AQI stood at 404 on October 30 with Bhiwadi coming second with 386. On October 31, the AQI was 439. Even on November 1, Ghaziabad AQI (PM2.5) stood at 402 and was second among 42 cities across the country.
Noida’s AQI was recorded at 332, 348 and 344 on October 30, 31 and November 1, respectively.
The Meerut divisional commissioner said he would soon call a meeting of officials of various districts, including Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar, to implement measures to mitigate pollution on priority.
Dr Bhure Lal, chairman of the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA), had written to the commissioner to identify factors contributing to the severity of pollution in the two cities.
Lal suggested implementing the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) at a local level if the pollution levels continue. “The GRAP will come into effect if pollution level in entire region is high. In case Ghaziabad authorities want to implement this, they can do it at the local level,” Dr Bhure Lal said.
In response, commissioner Dr Prabhat Kumar said, “I have received a communication from Dr Bhure Lal and will call a meeting of all district magistrates. By Thursday, the instructions will be rolled out (on how to check pollution). There is hardly any control on construction sites, debris and traffic,” Dr Kumar said.
Kumar said he was finalising details of instructions to be given all officials concerned, including cops, to check air pollution. “We have to implement the GRAP at the local level to bring relief to our citizens,” Dr Kumar said.
Under the plan, if ambient PM2.5 or PM10 value is more than 250 micrograms per cubic metre (mpcm) or 430 mpcm, respectively, the agencies have to close brick kilns, hot mix plants, stone crushers and introduce differential rates for public transport to encourage travel during lean hours.
“Our locality (Kaushambi) is in Ghaziabad and next to Anand Vihar, the second most-polluted area in NCR. We are among the most affect as we are between these two areas,” said VK Mittal, president of Kaushambi Apartment Residents’ Welfare Association (KARWA).