Ghaziabad initiates works for air quality improvement, pollution reduction
To improve air quality, the corporation plans to pave dusty road patches with greenery and stones and add more greenery to 200 existing parks. The corporation will also devote funds to develop a city forest on 32 acres of land near the New Bus Adda Metro station
The Ghaziabad municipal corporation has initiated work to improve air quality in the district using funds worth ₹60.5 crore allotted by the fifteenth finance commission. The funds were approved in December last year; however, it is unlikely that residents will feel the effect of the project this winter season as, according to officials, it is likely to be completed by the end of the current financial year or, at the earliest, the end of December this year.
Every year, during the winter season, the district usually sees a spike in air pollution.
Officials of the Ghaziabad municipal corporation said that the fifteenth finance commission had allotted ₹121 crore last year for air quality improvement and solid waste management, and they will devote equal amounts of ₹60.5 crore each to both.
A district-level committee of officers has also approved the plan under which the Ghaziabad municipal corporation gave its nod to detailed infrastructure improvement measures.
“We have completed all the tenders for air quality improvement, and several work orders have also been issued. More work orders will be awarded soon. The works are likely to be completed by the end of the current financial year, but we are expediting projects and it is likely that we may complete these by end of December this year,” said MS Tanwar, municipal commissioner.
To improve air quality, the corporation plans to pave dusty road patches with greenery and stones and add more greenery to 200 existing parks.
The corporation will also devote funds to develop a city forest on 32 acres of land near the New Bus Adda Metro station.
Ghaziabad will also get 30 big air filters, which the corporation has decided to install in major markets and commercial areas to help reduce pollution
The corporation also plans to procure six more anti-smog guns, each with a capacity of 6,000 litres.
“We are also initiating a project in Vasundhara zone, which comprises localities such as Kaushambi and Vaishali. Under the pilot project, we plan to introduce e-vehicles for the lifting and transportation of daily solid waste. So, this will also improve conditions,” Tanwar added.
However, the project has already been delayed due to the pandemic situation.
According to government data, Ghaziabad is listed among 16 non-attainment cities in Uttar Pradesh with high levels of air pollution.
Cities are declared non-attainment if, over a five-year period, they consistently do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM10 or NO2 (nitrogen dioxide).
“This year, too, we are in the process of chalking out the action plan for winter and will add more pollution hotspots to the existing list. We also plan to prosecute contractors who have not completed infrastructure works such as road repair and construction on time. Such incomplete works are aiding air pollution,” said Utsav Sharma, regional office of Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board.
Environmentalists said that the delays are a regular feature of plans which need immediate attention.
“If the works are going to be completed by the end of the financial year or even by the end of December this year, there will be no relief from air pollution this winter either. Ghaziabad has been recording high air quality index readings in the severe category for the past several winters. External factors such as stubble burning will also aid pollution,” said Akash Vashishtha, a city-based environmentalist and lawyer.