After five days of choky smog, the Gurgaon district administration exercised section 144 of the CrPC on Sunday and banned the burning of waste, dry leaves, plastic, and any material that could worsen the air quality.
The air quality was recorded as ‘severe’ on Sunday compared to ‘very poor’ on Saturday as the wind speed remained zero for a second consecutive day. A thick layer of smoke hung over the city and the visibility was below 300 metres.
The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) recorded the average level of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) at 680.42 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³) on Sunday against a safe limit of 60 µg/m³. The PM2.5 level was 419.86 µg/m³ on Saturday.
“Any person who notices open burning of garbage or waste material could complaint to nearby police station and concerned authorities such as joint commissioners of MCG, SDMs and pollution control board officials for action.” the administration’s order said.
If a person is found guilty, he or she is liable to pay compensation under Section 15 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.
The deputy commissioner has ordered the HSPCB to form a special task force to monitor air quality in Gurgaon district. The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) has been ordered to monitor open
burning through the Swachh Bharat App.
Police have been directed to assist in execution of action against violators.
The HSPCB said smog continues to engulf the city because of the fall in temperature, low wind speed and vehicular pollution. “As the temperature goes down further in the coming days, the situation will worsen,” Vijay Chowdhery, senior environment engineer of the HSPCB, said.
The situation had improved slightly on Saturday after mild wind from Rajastan dispersed some of the particles. However, the air quality worsened as the minimum temperature fell by two degree Celsius on Sunday. The minimum temperature recorded by the India Meteorological Department was 14 degrees Celsius and the maximum temperature was 29.7 degrees Celsius.
“We have been monitoring the situation and came to the conclusion that pollutants in the air are mainly from vehicular emissions. The city still has diesel autos plying without any compliance to norms and it is a major contributor to the increase in the PM 2.5 levels. The high moisture content in the air is also a factor holding the pollutants,” Chowdhery said.
Doctors said Gurgaon hospitals have noted a rise in cases related to respiratory problems in the last days after Diwali celebrations..
“There has been a 5 to 10 % increase in patients with respiratory issues. Patients of asthama and bronchitis are having difficulties in responding to treatment because of smog,” Dr Kajal Kumud, general physician, civil hospital, said.