In view of the worsening air quality in the last six days, Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate NP Singh has sought the opinion of the chief medical officer and all private school principals on the impact of pollution on children’s health and if schools should be given a holiday.
“If the CMO and school principals are of the opinion that children are facing health problems due to deteriorating air quality, we will decide on closure of schools accordingly. I have written to all government agencies, including Noida and Greater Noida authority, to take steps to mitigate the air pollution,” Singh said.
Noida’s air quality on Thursday was ‘severe’ for the sixth consecutive day as per the data released by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) located in Sector 62.
Air quality is classified as ‘very poor’ if the Air Quality Index (AQI) ranges from 301 to 400. It is classified as ‘severe’ if the AQI is over 400.
Experts said the extremely high levels of pollution will have an adverse effect on people, particularly children and the elderly. However, solid waste continued to be burnt in the open in city with the Noida authority turning a blind eye to the offenders.
On November 3 at 5:30 pm, PM 10 was recorded 434 micrograms per cubic metre (mpcm) and PM2.5 was 500 mpcm, SAFAR data showed.
PM10 and PM2.5 are the particulate matter that is lesser than 10 micrometres and 2.5 micrometres in diameter, respectively.
“Solid waste is being burnt on the roadside near Transport Nagar in Sector 63, which is causing a lot of pollution. The sad part is that even with the air quality worsening by the day, the authority is not containing this menace,” said Aman Kumar a resident of sector 70.
Saumya Srivastava, deputy chief executive officer, Noida authority, said he has deployed a team to identify those burning solid waste.
“We will levy a fine of ₹50,000 on all such offenders and also take strict legal action against them,” Srivastava said.
On October 31, Noida’s PM10 and PM2.5 levels of 750mpcm and 575mpcm, respectively, were the highest among the 10 monitoring stations of Safar in Delhi-NCR.
“Air will be cleaner when the wind speed increases. We are expecting the wind to pick up speed in the next few days,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR.