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IIT report reiterates what residents already knew: Ghaziabad is highly polluted

Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee has been tasked with coming up with a plan to mitigate pollution level in the district.

noida Updated: Apr 19, 2018 13:48 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
Pollution in Ghaziabad,NCR pollution,Pollution in NCR
The pollution level in Ghaziabad is mainly attributed to vehicular emissions, burning of biomass, crop residue and garbage, road and soil dust, among others.(Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

In the preliminary report submitted by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee, to the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA), it was stated that an increasing trend of a high level of pollutants in the air was found in the city’s residential and industrial areas.

The IIT recently submitted the initial report and will finalise the environmental management plan (EMP) assigned to it in the next phase of the project.

IIT-Roorkee has been engaged by the GDA to prepare a comprehensive EMP for Ghaziabad district. The final report will suggest measures to tackle pollution. The issue of preparing an EMP was raised at the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in a petition filed by Kaushambi apartments’ residents’ welfare associations (Karwa).

According to officials, the IIT collected data from the UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) and the Central Pollution Control Board. As per the report, the annual mean concentration of PM10 (particulate matter) in residential areas was found 4 to 4.3 times higher than the national ambient air quality status (NAAQS 2009) standard from 2013 to 2015 in Ghaziabad. However, in 2017, the PM10 level was 8.6 times higher, the report stated.

A higher level of pollutants was also found in city’s industrial areas. The report stated that the annual mean concentration of PM10 was 3.5 to 5 times higher (than the NAAQS standards) in industrial areas from 2006 to 2017.

“The direction to prepare an EMP was given by the NGT in 2016 in a petition filed by Karwa. The authority decided to get a plan prepared for the entire district, as there is a high level of pollution,” VK Mittal, president, Karwa, said.

The preparation of EMP involves analysis of voluminous data, with regard to vehicles, water resources, population growth and solid waste management, among others, which is provided to the IIT by different Ghaziabad agencies.

The district officials said that they have submitted a proposal of nearly ₹20 crore to the ministry of environment, forests and climate change for procurement of equipment that will help mitigate pollution. They added that measures are being taken to curb pollution levels.

“We have asked for mechanical sweeping machines and water tankers under the proposal, estimated at ₹20 crore. It also includes a proposal for green paving and vertical gardening. The steps will help tackle pollution. A resource person has also been sought. The IIT-Roorkee has already started the work on the EMP. The initial report will be reviewed,” Ritu Maheshwari, vice-chairperson, GDA, said.

The pollution level in Ghaziabad is mainly attributed to vehicular emissions, burning of biomass, crop residue and garbage, road and soil dust, dust generated from construction and demolition activities, and industrial sources.

“To reduce pollution, we have already enforced a ban on pet coke and furnace oil in all industries of Ghaziabad. They have switched to alternative fuel. Further, three more online air quality monitoring stations have also been approved for Ghaziabad. However, we had demanded six of these. To control pollution, we have also closed nearly 1,000 unregistered units in various drives. Other checks are also being taken up regularly,” AK Tiwari, regional manager, UPPCB, said.

First Published: Apr 19, 2018 13:48 IST