Udyog Vihar, sectors 14 and 18 major pollution hot spots in the city, finds CPCB task forceUpdated: Oct 21, 2020, 22:53 IST
Areas such as Udyog Vihar (1 and 4), sectors 14 and 18 are the major hot spots for air pollution in the city, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) task force that visited these areas on Tuesday and found deficiencies in terms of management of road dust and discharge of particulate matter in air through the dumping of construction and demolition waste (C&D) waste on the roadside.
On Wednesday, the Gurugram’s air quality once again slipped into the ‘poor’ category with an air quality index (AQI) reading of 263 on CPCB’s index. The air quality worsened a day after it had recorded a ‘moderate’ AQI of 192. Air quality had been oscillating between ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ categories for at least the past 10 days.
Shiv Shanker Sharma, a member of the CPCB-led task force, said, “For the last three to four years, air quality monitoring surveys have been carried out where Udyog Vihar and sectors 14 and 18 have repeatedly emerged as pollution hot spots. These surveys take into account both observation as well as complaints regarding violations of anti-pollution measures. These areas have a high level of dust due to the digging up of roads and dumping of C&D waste.”
CPCB has formed 50 teams for Delhi-NCR to give feedback on pollution control measures from October 15 till February 28. Out of these, three teams have been earmarked for Gurugram. According to Sharma, in Udyog Vihar, the team noticed heavy dust pollution due to dug-up roads for the installation of a gas pipeline and a fibre optic network. “The heavy traffic movement in these areas is also responsible for blowing up dust in the air,” said Sharma.
Sharma added that they found sites where C&D waste was being dumped without being covered. “The agencies concerned have been advised to cover the dumping sites with shade to avoid dust pollution,” said Sharma. For sectors 14 and 18, he said, “Although these are residential sectors, C&D was found along the roadside. The loose soil in these areas was being discharged in the air as dust. The land-owning agencies have been informed to take action,” he said.
Earlier, in September, CPCB asked the civic bodies of Delhi-NCR to initiate a special drive to remove waste (garbage and C&D) from open spaces. On October 16, CPCB directed the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) to submit the action-taken report on the activities done so far to tackle the high levels of particulate matter in the air.
Between September 15 and 21, CPCB deputed its team at high pollution zones for an assessment of the work done by local agencies in implementing CPCB guidelines. The teams visited Gurugram in the last week of September and observed inadequate action in various locations in terms of management of C&D waste, solid and industrial waste, road dust, construction, and other air polluting activities. According to them, an analysis of public complaints on social media indicated a higher percentage of open dumping of C&D waste and burning of garbage.
An MCG official privy to the matter, said, “A meeting was held on October 19 with Bhure Lal, chairman, Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA). He was satisfied with our report. The status will be reviewed again after 15 days.”
Hari Om Attri, joint commissioner, MCG, who is also the nodal officer enforcement of measures from management of C&D waste, said, “More than 25,000 tonnes of C&D waste has been lifted since October 15, after the Grap measures kicked in. This year, overall 2.5 lakh metric tonnes has been lifted from various the city. At least 41 challans and fine of more than ₹1 lakh has been imposed since the implementation of Grap measures. We are even looking at prospect of recycling C&D waste for construction of roads and footpaths in the city.”