‘Something is rotten’ in the township of Kaushambi and a committee of officials from the Central Pollution Control Board, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, UP Pollution Control Board and the Ghaziabad municipal corporation have found not one but several shortcomings at the Kaushambi bus depot and Anand Vihar ISBT that majorly contribute to air and noise pollution.
A physical survey of the area was conducted by the officials on February 9 on the directions of the National Green Tribunal. The Kaushambi Apartment Residents’ Welfare Association (KARWA) had approached the tribunal over the issue of rising pollution in the area. The survey report was filed before the NGT on Friday.
Kaushambi, a residential locality, is hemmed in by two interstate bus depots — ISBT Anand Vihar and IBST Kaushambi — the Ghazipur landfill site and Sahibabad industrial area. The township also gets heavy traffic throughout the day and night. The high levels of air and noise pollution have adversely affected the lives of nearly 10,000 residents of Kaushambi.
In its report, the committee said that parts of Kaushambi bus depot are still unpaved and ill-maintained, resulting in the dust flying, significantly contributing to air pollution.
Although the construction activity to develop the bus station is underway, movement of buses through unpaved areas was causing dust to fly and water has to be sprinkled to settle the dust.
The report also observes that buses and autos outside the Kaushambi bus depot moved in a haphazard manner, while trying to board passengers, thereby hampering the smooth traffic flow.
Loose soil, which was excavated for laying a sewerage system near the new Wave Cinema, covered the entire road. Floating waste, from nearby Bhovapur village, was also found in the drain.
The committee also found deep potholes on the main carriageways and municipal solid waste dumped at Anand Vihar ISBT.
“Anand Vihar interstate bus terminal was found in an unorganised condition with respect to the solid waste management as well as the carriageway condition was in very bad shape (sic),” the report said.
According to the online ambient air quality data, monitored from February 16 to February 23, high levels of fine particulate matter (PM)2.5 and PM10 were recorded at Anand Vihar.
The PM2.5 levels were recorded up to two times the standard limit of 60 micro grams per cubic metre (µg/m³) while PM10 levels were found six times higher than the standard limit of 100µg/m³.
High levels of PM10 were also recorded near community centre near EDM mall and Satpur-Nanda Towers in Kaushambi.
On the matter of noise pollution, the report said, “Noise pollution in the area is mainly created by private bus operators near the bus stand or outside bus terminus at Kaushambi ISBT / Anand Vihar ISBT. There are multiple roads encircling the residential area.”
The day and night noise levels exceeded the limit of 60 decibels at Anand Vihar, the community centre near EDM Mall and Satpura-Nanda Towers.
VK Mittal, president, KARWA, “We accept the report but we disagree with several points. The NGT had also ordered the constitution of a committee, headed by Ghaziabad district magistrate, to oversee the implementation of the tribunal’s direction. We have never been invited to committee meetings though we are a member,” said .
KARWA had moved a petition regarding the pollution on August 17, 2015, which the NGT disposed of with directions on May 18, 2016. However, the pending issues were not taken up by Ghaziabad agencies and KARWA filed a contempt petition on July 20, 2016.
In its February 9 directions, during the contempt petition hearing, the tribunal sought a report from the committee on whether its directions were complied with; the extent of performance with reference to ground realities at the site; and, submission of a short term and long term action plan to prevent pollution.
The tribunal also directed that data of ambient air quality and noise pollution shall be taken and its analysis report be placed before it. The committee was also directed to observe the traffic scenario in the area.