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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Air quality in Noida ‘severe’, authorities clueless on mitigating pollution

The air quality index has hovered between ‘very poor’ (301 to 400)  and ‘severe’ (401-500) since October 20, 2017, shows assessment of air monitoring station of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board.

noida Updated: Oct 30, 2017 22:11 IST
Vinod Rajput
Vinod Rajput
Hindustan Times
Broken roads and ongoing construction have turned Noida into a dust bowl.
Broken roads and ongoing construction have turned Noida into a dust bowl. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

Air quality in Noida continues to be ‘severe’, according to the assessment of the air monitoring station of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) since October 20.

Residents alleged that the Noida authority and the UPPCB are clueless on ways to reduce air pollution, which, they say, is affecting their health.

The air quality is marked ‘severe’ if the index is above 400. The air quality index, calculated for 24 hours, was at 526 on October 29. It has been hovering between ‘very poor’ — 301 to 400 — and ‘severe’ over the last 10 days.

Residents alleged that the authority is not doing its job of maintaining roads, footpaths and vacant spaces, to ensure dust does not get mixed with air and cause pollution.

“The Noida authority does not follow the standard operating system to address an issue. It is taking the issue of pollution lightly and is not sprinkling water on dust on the roads and vacant plots in most of the areas, including sectors 77, 78 and 74. It has failed to refurbish walkways or repair roads to contain dust,” said Amit Gupta, a resident of Sector 77.

Residents alleged that even after a visit by the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority’s (EPCA) chairman, Bhure Lal, on Saturday in sectors 76, 77 and 78, the Noida authority has not improved on its approach to check air pollution.

The Noida authority’s chief executive officer, Alok Tandon, had also accompanied Lal during his inspection and assured residents of quick action to mitigate air pollution.

Lal had directed the Noida authority to act against those causing air pollution and take effective steps to ensure it does not affect people’s health.

“The Noida authority staff sprinkled water on roads only on Saturday and then stopped doing their job. Dug up roads, dust on footpaths and vacant plots are all sources of pollution. I do not understand why the authority is not taking effective steps to mitigate pollution despite the orders from NGT and other authorities,” said Amrita Singh, a resident of Sector 76.

Experts said that highly polluted air can affect the health of residents, especially children and the elderly.

“We are taking effective steps to fight pollution across the city. If there is any particular issue faced by residents, they can file a complaint and we will address the same,” said RK Mishra, additional chief executive officer of the Noida authority.

Officials of the UPPCB said they will write to the Noida authority on rising air pollution.

“The Noida authority has the onus of keeping roads and other public spaces dust-free. Therefore, we have decided to write to the Noida authority asking them to take these steps to mitigate air pollution,” said BB Awasthi, regional officer of UPPCB.

First Published: Oct 30, 2017 22:11 IST