Stubble burning continues to affect air quality in GhaziabadUpdated: Oct 21, 2020, 22:33 IST
Even as the pollution control board and the district administration continue their drive against pollution sources, they have struggling to control the instances of stubble burning.
HT on Wednesday found instance of stubble burning in an area near river Hindon behind Mohan Nagar.
So far, there have been two major instances of stubble burning in the district in which one was spotted by HT team on October 14 at Kushaliya near Dasna. After verification, the officials suspended the local Lekhpal and also lodged an FIR against the erring person. In another, the officials of the pollution board found instance of stubble burning at Muradnagar and an FIR was also registered in the case on October 17.
On Wednesday afternoon, another instance of stubble burning was spotted near Mohan Nagar. When the HT team went to get to know why those who were putting fire to the stubble were doing so, they turned aggressive and did not offer any comment.
“We will get the instance verified and will take up suitable action if the instance of stubble burning has taken place. We will also levy penalty in the instance which will be based on the plot area. On our part, we are strictly monitoring the instances of stubble/garbage burning and other pollution generating factors,” said Utsav Sharma, the regional officer of the UP pollution control board.
According to official statistics of the Consortium for Research on Agroecosystem Monitoring and Modelling from Space (CREAMS) Laboratory – a Division of Agricultural Physics, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, the Ghaziabad district during the period October 1 to November 30 had witnessed 17 instances of stubble burning in 2019.
“During a video-conferencing held on Wednesday, the chairperson of the Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority [Epca] appreciated our efforts and has asked us to step up vigilance to tackle pollution in coming days,” Sharma, added.
He said that Bhure Lal, the Epca chairperson, has asked the officials for an action taken report with respect to previous issues prevailing at Kaushmabi and Bulandshahr Road Industrial Area.
The pollution board officials also added that they penalised seven instances for ₹50000 each at Mohan Nagar, Sahibabad, Vasundhara, and Krishna Enclave among others where the construction material was laying in open.
“As part of our enforcement drive, we demolished 109 illegal factories in Loni which were indulged in works related to operation of furnace, extraction of chemicals, etc. Further, we have also completed the verification of 13 instances of bigger construction sites where the UPPCB had directed for conduct of self-audit and installation of CCTV cameras. One of these was found erring and a penalty of Rs 5 lakh was recommended at a construction site in Morta near Delhi Meerut Road,” Sharma, added.
He added that the verification of the rest of 37 sites, which either completed the self-audit or installation of CCTV cameras or both, is under process.
According to the figures of the Central Pollution Control Board, the Ghaziabad district recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 254 under ‘poor’ category on Wednesday while the other two cities of Noida and Greater Noida also fared under the same category with AQI of 264 and 284, respectively.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe.”