In the absence of any concrete steps to control pollution in NCR cities, the level of pollutants in Gurgaon has remained consistently high throughout December.
According to data from the Haryana state pollution control board, the level of all major pollutants, including particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides has been relatively higher in December, compared to the previous months.
The average level of PM2.5 for the first 15 days of December is 106.75 micrograms per cubic metre, compared to the average of 83.65 in the last 15 days of November. The highest recorded level of PM2.5 was 128.86 micrograms per cubic metre on December 8, which is over three times the permissible limit.
The simultaneous dip in temperature in the same period is also facilitating higher pollution levels, officials said.
The minimum temperature in Gurgaon started reducing by the first week of December and there was a sudden drop of around five degrees, at 3.4 degrees Celsius on December 13.
Officials say that the pollutants get trapped in the atmosphere for long periods at low temperatures and cause smog in the city. Officials said this might be a reason for higher levels of pollutants being recorded.
“There are no heavily polluting industrial units in Gurgaon or in the areas nearby. However, pollution from vehicular emissions and diesel-run generator sets are the major causes of pollution in the city,” said Bhupinder Singh, regional officer, Haryana state pollution control board (HSPCB), Gurgaon.
“This has translated into smog in the past few days due to drop in temperature,” Bhupinder said.
The low temperature and calm air cause inversion, a phenomenon that can lead to trapping of pollutants close to the ground.
Residents are a worried lot and are asking city authorities to follow drastic steps, such as those being taken in Delhi, to improve the quality of air. According to resident groups, air pollution in Delhi is also affecting health of those living in NCR cities.
“The Supreme Court orders, government policies and other decisions need to be enacted and implemented
comprehensively in all NCR cities. If SUVs cannot be registered in Delhi, people will get them registered in Gurgaon or Noida, and the decision will have no impact,” said Lieutenant Colonel, Sarvadaman Oberoi (retd), treasurer of Mission Gurgaon Development.
Meanwhile, Gurgaon deputy commissioner, TL Satyaprakash, said the problems remain the same throughout when cities are developed as part of old ones, as in the case of Gurgaon and Delhi. However, he said the administration is planning to take action will soon take steps to tackle the increasing levels of pollution in the city.