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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

WHO report on polluted cities not correct, says Haryana government

Haryana environment and climate change minister Vipul Goel says the source of the data on which the report was based is not clear.

india Updated: May 04, 2018 19:24 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Chandigarh
Garbage burning at Bhalswa Landfill in New Delhi.
Garbage burning at Bhalswa Landfill in New Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna/HT File Photo)

The Haryana Pollution Control Board has turned aside the recent report of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in which Faridabad is among the top three polluted cities in the world.

The latest WHO ranking of cities based on ambient air quality released on May 2 lists eight Indian cities as the top most polluted cities in the world.

Haryana environment and climate change minister Vipul Goel on Friday said the source of the data on which the report was based was not clear.

“The Haryana Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) has been monitoring the data since 2010 through continuous air ambient quality monitoring station in Faridabad and Gurugram. As per the details available with the board, the PM 2.5 value of both the cities are being monitored regularly since 2013,” he said.

These values increase above 170 only during a brief season, that is during a few days around Diwali, crop harvesting season during which residue burning is reported and peak winter, when the temperature is low and wind velocity is minimum, he said.

Therefore, it is not justified to claim that the average PM 2.5 value is above 170 in Faridabad, he said, adding the city is affected mostly due to the pollution in neighbouring Delhi.

Its own sources include mainly vehicles and construction dust and Delhi’s pollution is considerably high with additional sources from municipal solid waste burning going on almost continuously as witnessed during the past years, he said.

The minister said that Delhi’s pollution level has always remained higher than these two cities. “Now, placing Faridabad above Delhi is not even logical,” he added.

He said that Haryana has already prepared a detailed action plan to combat air pollution in the entire state.

Diesel vehicles of more than 10 years age have already been banned from registration in Faridabad, Gurugram and Jhajjar districts of Haryana, he said.

The NHAI, HUDA and Public Works Departments have been directed by the HSPCB to contain dust during their construction activities, he said.

Mechanical sweeping machines and vacuum machines are being used in Gurugram and Faridabad for cleaning purposes to reduce road dust, he said.

He said it is reviewed almost every month at the level of chief secretary and progress in this regard is being monitored.

Goel said several awareness campaigns and programmes are being conducted by the board to spread the message on prevention of air pollution.

He also informed that the state government has already ordered for installation of air quality monitoring stations and it will have 19 continuous ambient air quality monitoring station (CAAQMS) being installed across the state, the installation for which would start in a month.

The state is also planning to carry out a source attribution study with the help of various experts so that the action plan can be put into action accordingly, Goel said.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

First Published: May 04, 2018 19:23 IST

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