Ghaziabad authority to hire agency for suggestions for pollution control | noida | Hindustan Times
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Ghaziabad authority to hire agency for suggestions for pollution control

The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) had recently raised caution and named three areas - Bhiwadi, Anand Vihar and Ghaziabad - among the three most polluted areas in the NCR region.

noida Updated: Oct 26, 2017 23:13 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
The Ghaziabad district magistrate, Ritu Maheshwari, took over as the vice-chairperson of GDA on Thursday.
The Ghaziabad district magistrate, Ritu Maheshwari, took over as the vice-chairperson of GDA on Thursday.(Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

The Ghaziabad development authority (GDA) will soon rope in an independent agency to suggest measures to curb pollution in the city, said Ritu Maheshwari, vice chairperson of GDA.

The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) had recently raised caution and named three areas - Bhiwadi, Anand Vihar and Ghaziabad - among the three most polluted areas in the NCR region.

Maheshwari, who is also the district magistrate, told Hindustan Times that the agency hired will also point out issues marring the city in terms of pollution. She took additional charge of the authority on Thursday on state administration’s directions.

“The agency will be hired by GDA in coordination with the district administration. There can be a lot of measures which we can take ourselves, like promoting green buildings, developing a mitigation plan for the city and adhering to laid down policies,” she said.

“There is already a graded response action plan in place but this is for the entire NCR region. Our plan will be city specific. We need to act now and give citizens a better environment,” she added.

She said that a team of officials, including those from different departments and the pollution control board, may be formed for coordination and to help take pollution control measures.

Ghaziabad city has an estimated population of over 18 lakh with a vehicle base of nearly 8.9 lakh. The main causes of air pollution in the city are road dust, vehicular pollution and construction activities. The district also comprises of 15 major industrial areas.

The Smart City plan is also being prepared by the Ghaziabad municipal corporation (GMC) which will also focus on the issue of pollution. In a recent development, the officials for the first time suggested installation of air quality monitoring systems at eight points in the city. Presently, the city has two major pollution monitoring systems at Vasundhara and Model Town.

“During the previous Smart City plan, we received comments from the assessment committee that pollution was an issue in the ‘SWOT’ analysis, but no measures were suggested. Now, we are updating the plan and including the provision for air quality monitoring systems,” said an official from GMC.

The air quality index released by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in pre- and post-Diwali days recorded the city’s PM10 and PM2.5 levels at ‘severe’ and ‘very poor’ categories. The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a ban on the use of furnace oil and pet coke as fuel by industries in three states including the NCR region. Ghaziabad’s 137 factories, using these fuels, will have to now move to alternate fuel.

“The pollution mitigation plan is essential with strict enforcement. This should have been in place 2-3 years back but officials failed to put it in place. Now, an agency should be hired at the earliest to suggest measures. The biggest challenge would be acting on the measures,” said Vikrant Sharma, an environmentalist.