Gurgaon: Residents to hold protest for right to clean air today
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Gurgaon: Residents to hold protest for right to clean air today

Residents will demand the CM’s intervention in reducing air pollution levels in Gurgaon

gurgaon Updated: Oct 28, 2017 22:23 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan Times
Protest against dust and pollution,Sohna Road,Gurugram
Residents of Golf Course Extension Road, which is often in the news for dust pollution, will also take part in the protest.(Sanjeev Verma/HT FILE PHOTO)

Alarmed by the worsening air pollution levels in Gurgaon, concerned residents and a section of the city’s medical fraternity have come together urging immediate intervention of the Haryana government. They are mostly are based in areas marked by dust pollution, including Golf Course Extension Road and Sohna Road, and want the government to announce sweeping steps to bring down pollution levels.

The residents also posted a complaint to the chief minister’s window highlighting their plight and demanding action at the earliest.

Residents from more than a dozen residential complexes will hold a protest at 11am on Sunday at Golf Course Extension Road, demanding urgent steps to reduce pollution. The venue for the protest is close to Escape Apartments. Residents from several societies, including Vatika City, Ireo Grand Arch, Nirvana Country, Bestech Park View, Palm View Apartments and Sector 57, will take part in the protest.

The participants said that this would not be a one-off protest, but will spark off a campaign that will continue till such time the government announces measures to reduce air pollution. This aim is to highlight the harmful effects of dust and smoke from rampant construction in violation of laws and guidelines and widespread burning of waste in the open, said a group of parents.

Residents said that steps should be taken to keep all construction materials covered in a bid to avoid dust pollution. They accused suppliers of selling sand and other construction materials in the open, near residential areas.

“The social media is full of posts by mothers extremely concerned about their children’s health. It is even more distressing to see the increase in the number of kids and adults with breathing difficulties. Studies reveal that kids in Delhi-NCR have weaker lung capacity. The authorities have to wake up and take drastic measures to address the situation. We, as citizens, also have certain responsibilities and contributions to make in this regard. The government, citizens and corporates have to come together and work out a sustainable solution to this problem. We only seem to wake up to this problem when it hits us hard,” Neela Kaushik, founder of Gurgaon Moms, a social media group, said.

Read I Gurgaon: Air quality index gives hope, pollutants start to dissipate

Residents said they doubt if the authorities would ever come up with sustainable solutions to such issues, as they even lack the intent to provide basic infrastructure and implement policies.

“We seek to draw the attention of the chief minister to our plight. Due to lack of infrastructure support and policy enforcement, the city is not only sinking into civic mess but the air quality is also taking a turn for the worse due to the high levels of dust and smoke from the burning of solid waste in the open. We need a commitment from the CM to make Gurgaon a sustainable city and treat public health as his government’s top priority,” Ruchika Sethi Takkar, a social activist, said.

“I am a mother of two children aged 7 and 3 and am aware of the kind of damage being wrought on them by the city’s toxic air. Their lungs have black spots and will turn into those of a smoker by the time they are teens. Their lungs capacity is 25-30% less than what it should be. Their cognitive function and arteries are being damaged. It fills me with helpless rage to see them suffer this way. Fixing the city’s air is beyond me,” Sherebanu Frosh, a resident of Summit Apartments, DLF 5, said.

Concerned parents who have been making regular visits to paediatricians said that the doctors have advised them to leave areas having high levels of dust pollution. “If we see the data over the last ten years, it (pollution) has increased from 3-4% to 30-40%. Toddlers and infants are on nebulisers. Our children will continue to suffer till pollution levels come down,” Dr Radesh Pathak , civil hospital, Gurgaon, said.

First Published: Oct 28, 2017 22:23 IST