A report by the Greater Noida authority has revealed that construction projects are the main cause of air pollution in the city.
The authority had hired a private agency that conducted a survey in 2015. It found that areas where construction activity was going on in full swing recorded a higher level of air pollution. With the help of temporary ambient air quality monitoring stations put up at five locations, the agency monitored pollution, including particulate matter (PM10) levels.
Two of the locations, where air quality was monitored, fall under Greater Noida west that has around 60 under construction housing projects. The report stated that PM10 levels were recorded at 111 and 112 micrograms per cubic metre (mpcm) against the permissible limits of 100 mpcm (micrograms per cubic metre).
The other three locations in eastern part of Greater Noida recorded PM10 levels at 85, 87 and 93 mpcm. These only had a few under-construction projects.
“PM10 level must be higher than what the private agency has recorded in Greater Noida because this place resembles nothing less than a desert. The authority has failed to enforce construction norms on realtors, who have added to the air and noise pollution,” said Vikrant Tongad, a local environmentalist.
The Greater Noida authority said that a team will examine each construction project and take action against builders found flouting norms laid down by the National Green Tribunal.
“We will implement each suggestion made by the private agency to reduce pollution levels and save the environment,” said Deepak Agarwal, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Greater Noida authority.
The authority in 2013 roped in ENV Das India Pvt Ltd, a Lucknow-based private agency, to prepare an environment management project.
“The national capital region planning board (NCRPB), which approves master plans for urbanisation in the NCR region had suggested that we take steps to contain pollution. So we hired the agency. The authority will now implement suggestions made by the agency,” said PC Gupta, additional chief executive officer (ACEO) of the Greater Noida authority.
Around 10,000 residents, who shifted to their housing complexes in Greater Noida west, an upcoming realty hub, have been complaining about pollution levels.
“Residents can lodge complaints and we will take prompt action. It is our job to ensure a clean environment to people living in Greater Noida. We have directed realtors not to cause any nuisance in areas where buyers have moved into their houses,” said Agarwal.