Three major roads in Noida have high dust content, says pollution control board studyUpdated: Oct 17, 2020, 22:41 IST
A A study conducted by the Uttar Pradesh pollution control board (UPPCB) to find out the total mass of dust, as well as dust particles up to 75 microns, through samples taken from 10 different roads in Noida has found three major road stretches in the city have heavy dust pollution.
The UPPCB had recently conducted a similar study for 18 different road stretches in Ghaziabad, samples of which were tested at UPPCB’s laboratory at Vasundhara. The samples from Noida roads were also tested at this facility.
The study revealed that three roads – Near Parthala Chowk-Sector 121-Vikas Marg, Sector-129 to Sector-155, and the road in front of Spectrum Metro Mall near Sector 50 metro station – have the highest dust mass of all samples.
These three stretches, were found to have total dust mass of 552 grams per square metres (g/m2), 536.5 g/m2 and 513 g/m2, respectively, while the mass of dust having dust particles up to 75 microns was 159.43 g/m2, 108.03 g/m2 and 84.89 g/m2, respectively, the study shows.
Officials said the board conducted the study after discussions with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur, during which they got to know that dust particles up to 75 microns have lesser tendency of settling down, and thus move about with movement of wind as well as vehicles, which also leads to air pollution.
“The report will now be sent to the Noida authority and for them to take up appropriate steps to bring down these levels and control dust. In future, we will get a similar study conducted for roads in Greater Noida as well,” said Praveen Kumar, regional officer of UPPCB, Noida.
The study revealed that the total dust mass in samples collected from Noida ranged between 552 g/m2 and 59.84 g/m2, while the range of mass of dust contents up to 75 microns in size stood between 159.43 g/m2 and 9.77 g/m2.
It said that in all the Noida samples, highest dust mass was found near Parthala Chowk-Sector-121-Vikas Marg stretch, while the least was in front of NSEZ Phase-II-Surajpur Road, Noida. These two stretches also figure as highest and lowest in terms of mass of dust contents up to 75 microns.
Avinash Tripathi, officer on special duty (OSD) from Noida authority, said the authority is yet to receive the UPPCB study report.
“At Parthala Chowk, there is no construction work going on as of now. We will go through the UPPCB road study report and take necessary measures. We will do more of water sprinkling, washing roads at night etc., and will fix any technical issues found. Sometimes, potholes also lead to dust pollution. We will visit the roads and take necessary actions,” he said, adding that dust particles on the roads may be due to vehicular movement.
While detailing the measures taken up by the authority under the graded response action plan (Grao), Tripathi added, “We have engaged 47 tankers for sprinkling water on a total of 107 km of roads per day. The authority is also taking up washing a total of 80 km of roads every night whereas mechanical sweeping of over 250km roads is taken up at night.”
The authority has also made a total of 235 km road stretches dust free zones, covered by grass and shrubs on the footpath in order to check pollution, officials added.
On Saturday, the authority had fined a mechanical-sweeping agency ₹1 lakh as it had left the dust collected in the open in Sector 67, officials added.
“We found some dustbins overflowing in Noida Sector 65 and 66 on Saturday and fined a door-to-door garbage collection agency Rs 1 lakh for the lapse,” Tripathi said, adding that all such measures will surely reduce pollution.
A comparison of the UPPCB’s road dust study of the two cities of Ghaziabad and Noida found that the total mass of road dust in samples was higher in Ghaziabad, where it stood between 579.54 g/m2 and 14.43 g/m2.
On other hand, the particles of dust up to 75 microns were on the higher side on roads in Noida, where it stood between 159.43 g/m2 and 9.77 g/m2, as compared to between 154.37 g/m2 and 2.22 g/m2 in Ghaziabad.
Dr S Velmurugan, chief scientist, Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), Delhi, said that due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and social distancing protocols, many people now use their private vehicles, which aids dust pollution.
“Most people use private vehicles instead of metro trains etc., for commuting, which adds to pollution in the National Capital Region. Dust particles are also caused due to stubble burning in northern areas. Proper water sprinkling on the roads may yield some good results but there is a need for strict enforcement of rules to check pollution,” he added.