Gurugram air worst in country as construction ban comes into play
City’s air, on Wednesday, was the most polluted in the country at 416 on the Air Quality Index (AQI), putting it in the ‘severe’ category. It was the second consecutive day that Gurugram’s air was categorised as ‘severe’ after Tuesday’s AQI of 426, and the first time this season that Gurugram was the only Indian city with ‘severe’ air.
Haryana State Pollution Control Board regional officer JB Sharma attributed the severity of pollution to rampant construction activity, slated to be banned for the next 10 days starting today.
“All construction activity will be banned from Thursday till November 10, in anticipation of Diwali, which typically causes AQI value in the National Capital Region (NCR) to skyrocket. Both, the HSPCB and the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram, will be enforcing the ban,” Sharma said.
The level of PM2.5, Gurugram’s primary air pollutant, dropped slightly to 453ug/m3 on Wednesday from Tuesday’s reading of 500ug/m3. According to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, the daily average safe measure of PM2.5 is 60ug/m3.
“An increase in temperature and clear skies helped air quality improve across the NCR on Wednesday,” said a senior member of the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) air quality lab, requesting anonymity. Daytime temperature on Wednesday increased by one degree to 31.1 degrees Celsius.
Air quality improved across major NCR cities of Delhi, Faridabad and Ghaziabad on Wednesday entering the ‘very poor’ category from Tuesday’s ‘severe’.
Sachin Panwar, an air quality scientist who has been closely measuring pollution in the city, said clear skies on Wednesday had allowed heat to penetrate through the atmosphere, warming the air and drawing suspended particulate matter upwards. Panwar also said that Wednesday’s air may not be as bad as official data lets on.
“The AQI reading of 416 is based on information captured by the city’s only air quality monitor at Vikas Sadan, which is located extremely close to a highway. Therefore, the air in its catchment area is worse than in other places,” he said, adding that air quality in Gurugram improved progressively through the day. By late afternoon, PM2.5 levels had dropped to 387ug/m3, according to the National Air Quality Index web app.
On Wednesday, MCG commissioner Yashpal Yadav announced the formation of 12 teams that will be responsible for enforcing the ban on construction in the district’s four zones. Each team will have up to eight members, consisting of junior engineers, assistant engineers and senior town planners, who will inspect areas ensuring that all construction activity has been halted.
The teams will also check open burning of waste and unauthorised dumping of construction debris, which is a major source of PM2.5.
“Violators will be booked under sections 269 and 278 of the Indian Penal Code, under the National Green Tribunal Act, and the construction site in question will be sealed,” Yadav said.
Other measures to curb air pollution in the city already in place, in keeping with the Graded Response Action Plan for ‘severe’ air quality. These measures include water sprinkling and mechanised sweeping of roads, which Yadav said is being carried out by street-sweeping machines, municipal tankers and fire trucks.
MCG chief engineer ND Vashisht said the civic body was also picking up abandoned construction waste from around the city and issuing challans for open waste burning.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee on Wednesday decided to display the portrait of slain Babbar Khalsa International militant Balwinder Singh Jatana — who in 1990 had killed government officials supervising the construction of disputed Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal — at the Central Sikh Museum in Golden Temple complex, days after singer Sidhu Moose Wala glorified Jatana in his posthumously released song 'SYL'.
Former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Wednesday listed '16 family dynasties' in the Karnataka unit of the BJP aKumaraswamy'she hit out at the saffron party for repeatedly calling the JD(S) a dynastic party. Kumaraswamy's outburst was against the repeated accusation of the BJP of calling JD(S) a dynastic party. The JD(S) leader lashed out against the BJP today for calling him a 'lucky dip CM' in a set of tweets.
Ninety per cent of students at the Jawaharlal Nehru University are apolitical and only 10 per cent are "troublemakers" who think they can build their political careers at the varsity, Vice Chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit said on Wednesday. The JNU is the graveyard of political careers. You know last time what happened, all who did (such) politics are in jail," Pandit said. Kanhaiya Kumar is now in the Congress party.
A 42-year-old woman was allegedly beaten up and forced to carry her husband on shoulders in Khargone district for allegedly leaving her husband and staying with her uncle, police said on Wednesday. This is the second such incident reported from Madhya Pradesh in the past two days when a tribal woman was harassed for leaving her husband's house. He came to the village in Khargone and beat up her uncle.
Mumbai A man from Uttar Pradesh has been arrested for allegedly hacking a city woman's Instagram account days before her wedding and announcing that she was going to run away before the wedding. The woman, a resident of Goregaon east, was engaged in May and got married last month. The police officers then learnt that the number from which the woman's Instagram page was hacked was being used in Uttar Pradesh.