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Ghaziabad AQI touches 475, primary classes closed for two days

All schools in the district will be shut for classes up to standard 5 on November 8 and 9.

noida Updated: Nov 07, 2017 23:36 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
Delhi-NCr pollution,Noida pollution,Delhi pollution
Visibility was down to zero on Dasna road in Ghaziabad early Tuesday. (Sakib Ali /HT Photo)

With pollution reaching dangerous levels in Ghaziabad with an air quality index (AQI) of 475 on Tuesday, Ghaziabad district magistrate directed closure of primary classes of all government and private schools for the next two days.

“All schools in the district will be shut for classes up to standard 5 on November 8 and 9,” said Ritu Maheshwari, district magistrate, Ghaziabad.

The district administration also prohibited small construction activities across the city. The Ghaziabad development authority on Tuesday penalised 14 private developers and collected a fine of Rs 6.15 lakh for violating National Green Tribunal construction norms.

The district officials also sent recommendations to the UP pollution control board to close 15 grossly polluting factories. Further, 25 illegal factories operating in residential areas were also sealed.

The officials said they may also consider a further closure of schools in a review meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

The officials said enforcement teams of the Ghaziabad development authority and the municipal corporation are scanning sensitive areas and have also started sprinkling water on 20 major roads as directed by the district magistrate on Tuesday.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the AQI for the city stood is in ‘severe’ category. The city recorded the highest AQI figures in the country at 441 on Monday and 439 on Sunday.

“Considering the situation, we have directed the stopping of small construction activities in the residential areas. These include construction activities of low -rise buildings, etc. For the bigger activities such as constructions of high-rise buildings, we have asked agencies to strictly enforce the directions of the National Green Tribunal. All such activities will be taken up under covered conditions,” Maheshwari said.

By Tuesday evening, the AQI deteriorated further. The AQI was at 483 at 5pm on November 7. The Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority had recently termed Bhiwadi, Anand Vihar and Ghaziabad as the three most polluted areas in NCR.

EPCA chief Dr Bhure Lal had also visited Ghaziabad and directed officials to take immediate steps to curb pollution.

Dr Prabhat Kumar, divisional commissioner (Meerut), said that he has already sent instructions to district magistrates to take steps to mitigate pollution.

“These include levy of penalty on garbage burning and dumping, covering of construction sites, removal of debris, and water sprinkling, among others. We have also spoken to the officials of the CPCB. They said moisture conditions from the Gangetic plains have concentrated in the Delhi-NCR region. Due to cloudy conditions, the moisture is taking time to dissipate. This has led to accumulation of suspended particles,” Dr Kumar said.

“More stringent steps will be taken up if the condition persist,” he added.

The action was carried out at sites in Indirapuram, Kanawani, Nehru Nagar, Sahibabad and Pasonda and on Meerut Road, GT Road and Loni Road.

On Tuesday, 30 instances of diesel generators sets running in public areas were found and their owners penalised.

The district magistrate has also directed the electricity department to stop providing suply to illegal factories in residential areas. The directions also include penalising polluting vehicles and those running without pollution under control certificates.

Meanwhile, Ghaziabad municipal corporation said it has roped in 10 dumper vehicles to clear debris from Sahibabad Site 4 Industrial Area.

“The trucks are clearing the debris. Apart from this, we have also collected nearly Rs 10 lakh in fines on garbage burning and dumping during the past fortnight. The other industrial areas will be taken up soon,” said CP Singh, municipal commissioner.

First Published: Nov 07, 2017 23:32 IST