Noida: Teams formed to check pollution at construction sitesUpdated: Oct 18, 2020, 23:12 IST
NOIDA: As air pollution has started to increase in the region, the Noida and Greater Noida authorities have formed teams to keep tabs on polluting sites on a daily basis.
Both cities were in the ‘poor’ category on the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) air quality index (AQI), with Noida at 252 and Greater Noida at 278.
The Noida authority said Sunday it has intensified action against those flouting construction guidelines, causing air pollution in the city. Officials said they had started acting against violators on Thursday, when the authority imposed the Graded Response Action Plan (Grap) in the city to contain air pollution, when it imposed a penalty of ₹42,500 against violators. On Friday and Saturday, it imposed penalties of a total of ₹11.5 lakh against different entities, including waste management firms, individuals, private companies and others.
On Sunday, Noida imposed a total fine of ₹3,75,400 against nine firms for flouting National Green Tribunal guidelines in the city.
Noida authority’s chief executive officer (CEO) Ritu Maheshwari said she has directed staff to carry out monitoring on all construction sites and take effective steps to implement Grap measures to control pollution, ordered for by the Supreme Court in 2016 for the National Capital Region (NCR).
“All project engineers are working as nodal officers in their respective areas and taking appropriate action in this regard,” said Maheshwari, who directed staff to take up water sprinkling and mechanical sweeping on roads and ensure anti-smog guns at all construction sites, among other measures.
Noida is spread across 20,000 hectares and is divided into 10 work circles. Each circle is headed by a project engineer along with his team of junior engineers, who report to the general manager or the chief engineer of the authority.
Officials said the authority has started using treated water to sprinkle on city roads so that dust settles down.
Anti-smog guns have been set up at Chilla elevated road, Bhangel elevated road, sectors 71/51 underpass, an under-construction building in Sector 96, underpass construction sites in sectors 44 and 151 being built along the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway.
“We have deployed anti-smog guns at all our construction sites to make sure that dust does not fly about, causing air pollution. We are taking adequate measures to reduce air pollution,” said Rajeev Tyagi, general manager of the Noida authority.
Residents, meanwhile, demanded that the authority clean and sprinkle water in all roads, be it main or small.
“The authority must sprinkle water on dust in the city’s small as well as arterial road. It should also make sure that anti-smog guns are functioning properly, to reduce pollution, besides other measures,” said PS Jain, president of confederation of NCR residents’ welfare associations (Conrwa), an umbrella body of RWAs.
The neighbouring city of Greater Noida, developed on 38,000 hectares, has been divided into eight zones for better monitoring of all construction sites, including private and government.
“We have appointed zonal-in charges for all eight zones for requisite steps to contain air pollution. We have also requested residents to call at 0120-2336046, 47 and 48 and WhatsApp number –8800203912 – on which they can register their complaints related with air pollution, burning of garbage in open and flouting of norms causing air pollution. We will take prompt action against violators and impose penalty,” said Deep Chandar, additional CEO of Greater Noida authority.
The Greater Noida authority has decided to clean a total length of 133.37 kms of road via mechanical sweeping, that include the 130 metre-wide road that connects Greater Noida West with Dadri road, and another that connects Greater Noida with Ghaziabad.
“We imposed a total of ₹50,000 penalty on Thursday, ₹11 lakh penalty against two developers on Friday and ₹1 lakh penalty against violators on Saturday. Action against violators will continue,” said Chandar.
Greater Noida on Sunday did not impose any penalty for violations.
However, residents said the action is not adequate.
“We spot so many violations daily on roads as well as construction sites, with construction material lying uncovered with sheets, though it is mandatory in order to control pollution. Also, the anti-smog guns hardly function. The authority should take stringent action,” said Vivek Raman president of Greater Noida West entrepreneur association.