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Gurgaon residents unite against dust pollution, DC orders action

Residents requested authorities to take urgent steps to reduce pollution, failing which they will move the CM

gurgaon Updated: Oct 29, 2017 22:17 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan Times
People protested against dust and pollution,Golf Course Extension Road,Gurugram
Residents of various housing complexes on Golf Course Extension Road, Sohna Road and up and coming sectors held a protest on Sunday morning against rising levels of dust in the air and pollution.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

Residents of various housing complexes on Golf Course Extension Road, Sohna Road and up and coming sectors held a protest on Sunday morning against rising levels of dust in the air and pollution.

They alleged that despite paying external development charges (EDC), which totals crores, not a penny of it is spent on upgrading the existing infrastructure.

Residents, including children, medical practitioners and senior citizens took an active part in the protest, as they held up placards and banners asking for the government to act in reversing alarming pollution trends in the city. They also held interactive sessions with doctors on precautionary measures for residents in the face of rising pollution levels.

Taking note of concerns voiced by the residents, Gurgaon deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh said that as an immediate measure to rein in pollution levels, he has directed authorities to impose fines on those caught burning waste in the open.

“The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has been directed to issue challans (fines) for burning of garbage in areas under their jurisdiction. A fine of ₹5,000 will be levied on anyone found burning garbage in the open. Many have already been penalised,” Singh said.

Singh said residents have also been requested to use Swachhta app to send pictures of burning garbage, so that civic agencies can take action. In order to put a leash on increasing dust pollution in the city, the MCG has been directed to impose fines on those indulging selling construction materials in the open. He said authorities have also been told to sprinkle water on unpaved portions of roads and enforce dust control measures at under construction buildings.

“For areas outside MCG’s jurisdiction, we issued orders to panchayat representatives on Sunday to impose ₹5,000 fine on the burning of garbage and send weekly reports to the DC office. With respect to construction outside MCG’s limit, district town planning (enforcement) has been directed to enforce dust control measures in under construction buildings,” Singh said.

Residents said that the objective of the protest was to seek direct and immediate action from the civic authorities, failing which they will seek the chief minister’s intervention in upgrading existing infrastructure and reversing pollution trends.

Read I Gurgaon’s air marked ‘good’, but data on major pollutants not available for a week

“Each day, our health is taking a turn for the worse. Both parents and their children are suffering from respiratory problems and are on nebulisers. This is on account of residential areas and a few schools being directly exposed to heavy construction activity in these areas. Violations of all construction guidelines, poor road conditions and, most importantly, the unabated burning of waste – institutional, medical, solid and horticulture waste — in residential areas is a concern,” Ruchika Sethi Takkar, a social activist and a resident of Nirvana Country, said.

Residents have requested the authorities to ensure all commercial and residential construction sites follow construction guidelines laid down by the National Green Tribunal. They urged that construction materials being sold in the open outside residential complexes should be covered and kept wet.

“With rising levels of dust pollution, we often inhale micro pollutants while outdoors and some of them enter our bloodstream. I feel guilty while driving these days as the wheels of my car throw up loose dust into the air,” Tarun Rishi, a resident of Tulip Violet, Sector 69, said.

Four places have already been identified and notified by the MCG for recycling construction and demolition (C&D) waste.

“Construction and demolition waste adjacent to residential areas and schools must be removed on a war footing. I was alarmed at the sight of a mound of malba (debris) adjacent to schools on the Golf Course Extension Road. It poses a health hazard for children. Spraying of water on building materials at construction sites should be ensured with all sincerity,” said Dr Sanjay Mehta, a radiologist with a city hospital who took part in the protest.

First Published: Oct 29, 2017 22:17 IST