EPCA chief directs Ghaziabad to control dust, burning of waste, ensure better traffic managementUpdated: Sep 19, 2020, 22:55 IST
Chairperson of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) Bhure Lal on Saturday visited several spots in Ghaziabad and directed officials to strictly control dust, roadside parking, burning of solid and plastic waste, apart from ensuring effective traffic management.
He said Ghaziabad needs to come up with a parking plan to prevent roadside parking of trucks and other vehicles which in turn cause traffic bottlenecks and lead to higher vehicular emissions.
Lal, who is currently visiting different districts in western Uttar Pradesh, spent a substantial time in different areas of Ghaziabad conducting inspections. While driving on the NH-9 (Delhi-Meerut) stretch, he found the road shrouded in plumes of dust and directed the UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) officials to penalise National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) which is currently taking up the construction of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway (DME).
“I found huge plumes of dust from the under-construction project and have directed UPPCB regional officer to impose a penalty on NHAI. In Kaushambi, there was a garbage dump and I have directed for its removal. At Bulandshahr Road Industrial Area, there was irregular parking and a major chunk of the green belt was filled with garbage and plastic waste. I have directed for the restoration of the green belt,” Lal said.
Based on his directions, the UPPCB said it will impose a fine of ₹5 lakh on NHAI. “A penalty of ₹5 lakh has been proposed against NHAI for causing dust emission on NH-9. We have already prepared the winter action plan and it includes measures against dust emission, burning of waste and traffic management,” Utsav Sharma, regional officer, UPPCB, said.
The NHAI officials said they have completed the black topping of the NH-9 section in question. “There are some patches where the work is ongoing, but motorists often weave in and out of the work site, throwing up more dust. In case a penalty is levied against us, we will also forward UPPCB our point of view. On our part, we have already deployed water tankers for sprinkling water at our sites as well as three anti-smog guns,” Mudit Garg, project director, NHAI, said.
On the matter of garbage dumping in Bulandshahr Road Industrial Area, municipal commissioner MS Tanwar said he has directed his teams to clean the area. “The area has several garbage and construction and demolition waste dumps. All the waste will be immediately lifted. We have already deployed road sweeping machines to control dust emission and there is also a plan in the works to wash major roads during night hours, at least twice a week,” he said.
Lal also raised four vital points concerning Ghaziabad, a district that has been reeling under severe pollution levels, especially during the winter, for the past several years.
“The major problem which I feel need to be addressed is the issue of burning of solid waste and garbage. In many areas, such as Hindon Vihar, Pasonda, Tulsi Niketan and even Loni, burning activities take place. This year, we do not want any garbage burning taking place. The main problem in Ghaziabad is fugitive dust. Officials have been asked to put in place dust control measures,” he said.
“The other two points are related to traffic. I have directed officials to come up with a parking plan and also to better regulate traffic as snarls lead to more pollution due to vehicular emissions,” the EPCA chief said.
Lal also visited nearby districts of Hapur, Meerut and Sonipat and Panipat in Haryana.
Ghaziabad district magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey said a winter action plan to tackle pollution is ready. “We will abide by all the directions of EPCA chief and all respective departments will implement air pollution abatement measures. We have already started executing the winter action plan,” he said.