A rapid increase in the number of vehicles and commercial use of power generators in industrial areas due to frequent power cuts has led to the rising pollution level in Noida.
According to the Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Control Board (UPSPCB), 70% of the pollution is caused by vehicles, 20% by industries and 10% pollution is household generated.
The level of suspended particulate matter (SPM) in residential areas has reached up to 469 micrograms/cubic metre (the safe limit is 200 micrograms/cubic metre).
The regional transport office (RTO) in October registered an increase of 60% more vehicles compared to last year. The total number of vehicles registered in Gautam Budh Nagar district has now gone up to 2,85,000. Of them, 74,665 are cars.
"We have asked the transport department to conduct pollution checks," said Paras Nath, regional officer, UPSPCB. RTO official Jaishankar Tiwari said,"we have been conducting sudden checks and vehicles found to be emitting excess gasses are being fined."
"We cannot control the number of vehicles. But we have ensured that all the 3,000-odd auto-rickshaws operating in Noida run on CNG. All buses, weather run by the state transport corporation or the DTC should use CNG," said a Noida authority official.
"Industries have to use generators as there is always power shortage. Every day, 50% of production is facilitated by generators," said PP Sharma, general secretary of the association of Greater Noida Industries.
"Many industrial units are opting for CNG for power generation," said Dinesh Jain of Noida Management Association.
In residential sectors too, the use of power generators has increased because of frequent and prolonged power cuts. The pollution board has been issuing notices to industrial units asking them to control pollution. The district has about 90 brick kilns, most of them not adhering to pollution control norms.