Gzb continues to have toxic air, NHAI to suspend work on Epca directionsUpdated: Oct 25, 2019, 22:05 IST
Ghaziabad: The Ghaziabad city continued to have bad air quality for a second consecutive day with an air quality index (AQI) of 303, in the ‘very poor’ category, on Friday, amking it one of the six most polluted cities in the country. The officials of the Uttar Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) said they will be implementing the recent directions from the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (Epca) which was rolled out on October 25, under the graded response action plan (Grap).
The Epca suggested measures to curb air pollution ahead of Diwali and these include a ban on construction activities, closure of hot-mix plants and stone crusher units from 6pm to 6am from October 26 to October 30 in Delhi-NCR; closure of coal-based industrial units during the period; strict enforcement of Supreme Court directions on firecrackers; deployment of additional police force for managing the traffic rush and zero tolerance against units using unauthorised fuel.
The directions by Epca were issued Thursday for Delhi and its satellite towns of Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida, among others.
“We will be implementing the directions given by Epca. The directions were also discussed in a meeting held by the CPCB’s task force on October 24.
In Ghaziabad, the operations of 17 ready mix plants and 141 industrial units, using coal fuel, will be closed as per the directions given by Epca. Besides these, we are already implementing different pollution abatement measures suggested under Grap,” Utsav Sharma, regional officer UPPCB, Ghaziabad, said.
The Ghaziabad city with an AQI of 335 on Thursday had emerged the most polluted city across the country.
Besides taking up the air pollution abatement measures, the UPPCB in collaboration with non-profit and non-government organisation, Environment and Social Development Association (ESDA), have also roped in 35 volunteers who will keep a watch on polluting activities and inform officials.
“The volunteers from will keep a check and inform us about polluting activities. Apart from these volunteers, we already have three teams of UPPCB working on containing pollution, besides nine teams of Grap implementation squad who are also working for inspections and checks,” he said.
Meanwhile, officials of the National Highways Authority of India said they will also comply with the directions and the work on Phase 2 (UP-Gate to Dasna) and Phase 4 (Dasna to Meerut) of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway will be suspended for the time being.
“The works will be stopped as directed. We have made about 62% physical progress on Phase 2 and 59% on Phase 4. We don’t expect the work suspension to affect the project progress too much as many workers have already gone home for Diwali,” RP Singh, project director (NHAI), said.