EPCA discusses ways to mitigate Gurgaon air pollution
The HSPCB held a seminar to discuss implementation of the graded action plan to reduce air pollutionUpdated: Jul 06, 2017 23:31 IST
Chairman of the Environment Pollution Control and Prevention Authority (EPCA), Bhure Lal, said that after implementation of the Union environment ministry’s graded response action plan to reduce air pollution, Gurgaon witnessed remarkable changes. However, he added that a lot still needs be done before winter to lower air pollution in the city.
He was speaking at a seminar to discuss implementation of the graded action plan that was organised by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) at the Huda gymkhana club in Sector 29 on Thursday.
At the seminar, HSPCB claimed that as part of efforts to mitigate air pollution, it had identified 1,147 cases of agricultural waste burning around Gurgaon from November 2016 to June 1 this year. It added that Rs7.50 lakh was collected as fine from people involved in the activity.
Talking about their efforts to reduce air pollution, Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) commissioner V Umashankar, said at the event, “The city is working on a construction and demolition (C&D) plant to effectively deal with poor air quality. Work is in progress and by mid-August, the C&D plant will be operational. It might get a little delayed because of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) case regarding the Basai wetland, but otherwise we are on track”.
He also mentioned that the Bandhwari waste treatment plant is being developed and soon it will have three wings — waste to energy, refuse-derived fuels (RDF) plant and a composting unit.
MCG officials said segregation of waste for the plant started last month. They added that in the last four months, waste segregation has gone up to 15 tonnes from 1.5 tonne at source points, i.e. when MCG collects the garbage from residential societies.
The EPCA asked city authorities to enforce pollution under control certificate (PUC) norms effectively and curb illegal parking in the city.
“Steps should also be taken to minimise the usage of diesel generator sets in Gurgaon and to see that all colonies get regular electricity supply,” said Lal.
Meanwhile, the forest department highlighted that the region is getting a high level of air pollution due to large-scale tree felling.
“Urban planning should also take into account the wetlands and forest areas. We have to increase the forest cover, which amounts to only 0.5% of the total land area of Haryana,” said MD Sinha, conservator of forest, South Haryana.
The EPCA, formed under the Environment (Protection) Act, 2002, had earlier asked all NCR cities to act as the air quality in the region has been consistently marked ‘poor’. Lal, who was made the EPCA chairman, was the head of a committee set up by the Supreme Court in 2002 to oversee compliance of environment protection norms in the country.
In January, the Supreme Court had directed framing and submission of a graded response action plan for various categories of the National Air Quality Index (AQI) to control soaring air pollution levels.