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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Ghaziabad’s Loni town emerges as country’s most polluted

The AQI for Loni rural (Dehat) in Ghaziabad stood at 358 while that for Ghaziabad city was recorded at 339 under the “very poor” category. The AQI figures for Noida and Greater Noida stood at 326 and 314, respectively.

noida Updated: Oct 17, 2019 07:54 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times, Ghaziabad
Passing vehicles raise dust along NH 9 Road in Ghaziabad, India on Wednesday, October 16, 2019.
Passing vehicles raise dust along NH 9 Road in Ghaziabad, India on Wednesday, October 16, 2019. (Sakib ALi / HT Photo )
         

Ghaziabad’s Loni (rural) emerged as the most polluted in the country on Wednesday, a day after stringent measures under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) was implemented in the city to tackle air pollution.

Ghaziabad’s Loni town topped the list of 108 most polluted cities as per Central Pollution Control Board’s AQI figures.

The AQI figures for Ghaziabad on Wednesday rocketed into the “very poor” category and caused alarm among authorities.

The AQI for Loni rural (Dehat) in Ghaziabad stood at 358 while that for Ghaziabad city was recorded at 339 under the “very poor” category. The AQI figures for Noida and Greater Noida stood at 326 and 314, respectively.

“At present we have four monitoring stations in Ghaziabad district which are recording AQI values at around 315-320. However, one of the monitoring stations at Sanjay Nagar showed a reading of 375 on Wednesday evening. It is because of a gas station and open bus stand operating in its vicinity. We are writing to the respective land owning agencies to take action as the high values are affecting the overall AQI figures of Ghaziabad district,” Utsav Sharma, the regional officer of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), said.

Officials of Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) said that had recommended a fine of Rs 50 lakh against a mall and a school in Indirapuram on Wednesday.

UP pollution board officials said that the penalty of Rs 50 lakh was recommended against the mall and school for allegedly flouting the ban on diesel generator sets and also for playing loud music at the mall, which allegedly caused inconvenience to local residents.

“A combined fine of Rs 50 lakh was also recommended against a mall and a school in Indirapuram. The residents of Indirapuram have already filed a petition against the school and the mall with the National Green Tribunal (NGT),” said Sharma.

The tribunal, during a hearing of the petition on August 13, had directed for a factual and action taken report from Ghaziabad agencies within one month and set October 22 as next date of hearing.

Apart from this, the UP Pollution board also recommended a penalty of Rs 50,000 against Ghaziabad municipal corporation for alleged instances of road dust in Kaushambi locality, which is located next to Anand Vihar ISBT.

Municipal commissioner Dinesh Chandra said that he “will wait for the notice from UPPCB and reply accordingly”.

“We lack resources and have deployed three (out of six) water tankers available with us for sprinkling water for controlling dust on roads. The roads are in bad condition and we have no mechanised road sweeping machines. The condition of roads along with no facility of scientific garbage disposal had aided the rising air pollution scenario,” said Shalini Gupta, executive officer of Loni Nagar Palika.

The officials of UP pollution control board officials said they will hold another round of meeting with different departments on Thursday to implement emergency measures under GRAP.