Pre-Diwali, Ghaziabad residents battling high pollution levels
Residents are at risk of catching respiratory illness due to prolonged exposure to Ghaziabad’s toxic airnoida Updated: Oct 17, 2017 23:12 IST
The Supreme Court-appointed environment pollution control committee (EPCA) has listed Ghaziabad, Bhiwadi and Anand Vihar as the most polluted areas in the NCR region. The committee has also asked the NCR states to prepare list of roads that are most polluted.
The EPCA has rightly commented on the pollution scenario prevailing in NCR’s Ghaziabad city. Ahead of Diwali, the air quality index on October 17 for Ghaziabad showed high levels of PM10 pollutants and termed the air quality of city as ‘very poor’.
With the air quality deemed ‘very poor’, residents are at risk of catching “respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.”
On October 17, the pollution levels for PM10 were 367 micrograms per cubic metre (mpcm) for Ghaziabad, second to Bhiwadi’s 453 mpcm. The CPCB rolls out the daily air quality index for 28 major cities in the country. Neighbouring Noida’s air quality was termed “poor” with PM10 levels at 295 mpcm.
The Supreme Court-appointed environment pollution control committee (EPCA) has drawn a list of steps, including crackdown on diesel gensets, hot mix plants, polluting industries and stone crushing units in NCR, as the pollution levels breach the danger zone.
“Ghaziabad has nearly 300 high-rises and majority of them are residential, depending on gensets. If gengsets are shut down, our essential services will be hampered. On an average, we use gensets for 4-5 hours per day. The Supreme Court has already put a ban on sale of crackers and pollution levels are expected to be low. However, we are also making our residents aware of the need to minimise the bursting of crackers this Diwali,” Alok Kumar, president, Federation of Association of Apartment Owners, said.
The EPCA has said that the parking fees could also be increased 3-4 times and the thermal power plants in NCR could be shut down in the event the air quality turns severe.
One of the major localities facing the brunt of the spike in pollution levels is Kaushambi, which is located next to Sahibabad industrial area and also Anand Vihar, located on the opposite radial road.
“We have a population of nearly 10,000 and our area is severely affected by pollution. The National Green Tribunal has been holding hearings on a petition we filed more than two years back and has passed several directions to curb rising pollution levels. However, non cooperation from certain agencies have led us to file a contempt petition,” VK Mittal, president, Kaushambi Apartment Residents’ Welfare Association (KARWA), said.
Kaushambi’s pollution levels are attributed to it being situated close to NH-24, Ghazipur landfill site, Sahibabad industrial area, Anand Vihar ISBT, Kaushambi ISBT and also next to Delhi’s ring road and Ghaziabad’s Link Road.