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Five temporary air, noise monitoring units to be set up in Gurgaon

Officials of the board said that these temporary units are required to closely monitor steps to curb air and noise pollution, if any, after Diwali.

gurgaon Updated: Oct 17, 2017 22:06 IST
Ipsita Pati
Ipsita Pati
Hindustan Times
airqulaity,poor air,air pollution
The temporary air and noise monitoring units will be installed at Bus stand, Sector 4, MG Road, Subhash Chowk and Civil Lines, officials said.(Parveen Kumar/HT Photo)

The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) will install five temporary units to monitor air and noise levels in the city to check pollution before and after Diwali.

Officials of the board said that these temporary units are required to closely monitor pollution level and take steps to curb air and noise pollution, if any, after Diwali.

The temporary air and noise monitoring units will be installed at Bus stand, Sector 4, MG Road, Subhash Chowk and Civil Lines, officials said.

“This year, we will install temporary monitoring stations to record noise and pollution levels on Diwali festival. Every year, the units used to be installed a few days after Diwali. However, this year, we plan to monitor the sound and air pollution levels on and after Diwali,” said JB Sharma, regional officer, HSPCB.

However, experts on air quality are of the opinion that only monitoring air during Diwali festival is not a long-term solution.

“The city should have a roadmap to install permanent air monitoring units for Gurgaon. The data can help (relevant authorities) study the parameters and measures that can be taken to lower the level of pollutants in the air,” Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, research and advocacy and head of the air pollution and clean transportation programme, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said.

Despite the Supreme Court’s October 9 ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR till November 1 to curb air pollution, the quality of air in the city is deteriorating as winter is also fast approaching.

There has been a spike in the level of pollutants in the last one week as the air quality index, which was noted ‘moderate’ last week, has currently fallen to ‘poor’.

It is important to note that in February, Gurgaon was the most polluted city in the country, with the worst air quality, according to the air quality index data of the Central Pollution Control Board.

Last year, after Diwali, the level of pollutants in the city rose to more than 13 times the permissible level. On November 4, 2016, the HSPCB recorded the level of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) at more than 800 µg/m³.The safe threshold for PM 2.5 is 60 g/m3.

With a view to check pollution levels this time, the pollution watchdog also organised workshops and awareness campaigns in the city, urging residents not to burst crackers as it leads to increase in air and noise pollution in the region.

Officials said that because of the bursting of crackers, it has been noticed that the emissions in the air — gases such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and suspended particulate matter — lead to an increase in the level of pollutants and make the air ‘poisonous.’

With the arrival of winter during Diwali, the air becomes calm and traps pollutants close to the ground, engulfing the city in a toxic smog. However, this year, the officials are hopeful that the city’s air will not be marked as ‘severe’ or ‘heavily polluted’ as it was after last Diwali.

“We expect the air and noise pollution in the city will be lesser this year (compared to last Diwali) as we have organised workshops to sensitise students and also motivate them to not burst crackers. Also, the sprinkling of water on major roads is being done to reduce air pollution,” Sharma said.

First Published: Oct 17, 2017 22:06 IST