Relief likely for Ghaziabad but air quality continues to be ‘severe’
Following NGT’s order on November 9, the UPPCB officials had carried out a verification drive of factories, shutting illegal ones and ordering suspension on those causing pollution.noida Updated: Nov 14, 2017 22:15 IST
Factories in Ghaziabad that were ordered to suspend production by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) may get relief. Also, work on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway project was allowed to be resumed.
However, the pollution level has not been reined in and remained under the ‘severe’ category, as per the air quality index of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Following NGT’s order on November 9, the UPPCB officials had carried out a verification drive of factories, shutting illegal ones and ordering suspension on those causing pollution.
The tribunal on Tuesday stated that industries involved in “the manufacturing of essential services, essential commodities and eatables have been exempted from the prohibitory order issued by the Tribunal in regard to carrying on their manufacturing activities (sic).”
“We also direct that the industries whose emissions are within the prescribed parameters and which are non-operating and compliant to the orders of consent issued to them can be permitted to operate by the concerned Boards subject to verification (sic),” the tribunal said in its order.
Ajay Sharma, regional officer, UPPCB, said, “The NGT order is only for units that conform to the standards laid down by the board. In all, we have 471 units that have consent to operate under Red, Orange and Green categories. These include 356 under Red, 88 under Orange and rest in Green categories.”
“Most of the units have consent from the board while others have already applied,” he said.
The tribunal also gave relief to the National Highways Authority of India for constructing the Eastern Peripheral Expressway project. The tribunal said that the construction should be expedited subject to the senior-most officer of NHAI filing an undertaking by Wednesday that they shall “fully ensure that there is no dust emission and no pollution is caused by their activity.”
A 25.5km stretch of the road, meant for decongesting Delhi, falls in Ghaziabad.
Ghaziabad’s air quality index was recorded at 467 on Tuesday, second to Lucknow, which registered an AQI of 484.
Meanwhile, the regional transport department has also started issuing notices to owners of petrol vehicles that more than 15 years old and diesel vehicles that are more than 10 years old, both of which are not allowed to operate in NCR.
“Till date, after NGT directions, we have issued NOC to 2,132 diesel vehicles and cancelled registrations of 2,561 diesel vehicles that fall under the directions of the NGT. Another 335 NOCs have been issued and registrations of 41 petrol-based vehicles that were registered for more than 15 years, cancelled,” said Vishwajeet Pratap Singh, additional regional transport officer, Ghaziabad.
According to official records of the department, there are 12,988 diesel-based vehicles and 97,256 petrol-based vehicles that fall into this category. The figures include 4,730 diesel fuel based commercial vehicles and 34 petrol-based commercial vehicles.