Teams of residents to scan city for polluting activities
Civil defence teams, comprising resident volunteers, will start scanning the city from Monday for polluting activities, such as waste burning and dust pollution, and inform the civic body for necessary action.
On Wednesday, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) held a meeting with the volunteers at its Sector 42 office and designated teams for checking violations of Graded Response Action Plan (Grap).
“At least four teams have been formed for this task. By analysing data of our air lab, we have identified a few areas where localised pollution levels remain high. Civil defence teams would scan such areas to spot violations, such as waste burning, biomass burning, dust pollution, among others, and inform the MCG accordingly. In addition to our enforcement teams, the civil defence teams would be our eyes on the street across the city,” said Chahat Sanghvi, consultant, MCG commissioner office.
During an informal meeting last week, officials of the civic body had sought permission from deputy commissioner Amit Khatri for roping in residents to check pollution and were allowed to do so. Khatri heads all civic defence teams across the city.
On October 15, the MCG opened an air lab at its office in Sector 42 to monitor hourly data from 24 air quality monitors installed across the city, to spot for sudden spike in pollution levels, which may have been caused by localised polluting activities, and accordingly inform enforcement wing officials on ground to scan the area to check for violations.
With enforcement wing officials having limited reach, the MCG decided to include residents in the process as well and decided on the formation of civil defence teams.
MCG officials privy to the matter said the teams would visit Udyog Vihar on Monday to check for violations. Overall, the MCG has identified five areas for civil defence teams to conduct checks on priority. Officials, however, did not disclose the other four areas.
Besides checking for environmental violations, the teams would also be responsible for spreading awareness in villages, construction sites and public areas, sensitising residents about polluting activities.
MCG officials said that the involvement of residents would not be limited to civil defence teams solely, as they are working on a mechanism to share real-time data of all 24 air monitors with residents so that they can also spot violations in case of a sudden spike in pollution.
The MCG has a toll-free number — 18001801817 — and an email address — email@example.com — on which residents can report Grap violations.
“Civil defence teams have been successful in keeping a check on numerous activities in the city in the past. Hence, we decided to volunteer for MCG’s latest initiative. We want to help MCG in every way to reduce pollution violations. Our local knowledge will help them in a big way,” said Mohit Sharma, a resident of Sector 40.