Vehicle boom adds to pollution in Ghaziabad
According to the pollution control department officials in Ghaziabad, the two major contributing factors to pollution are road dust and vehicular emissions.noida Updated: Oct 18, 2017 20:57 IST
Three areas — Anand Vihar in Delhi, Bhiwadi in Rajasthan and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh — were censured by the environment pollution control authority (EPCA) on Tuesday for their excessive levels of air pollution, and that too before Diwali.
The pollution data in these three areas, according to Central Pollution Control Board data, revealed that air is already in the ‘severe’ category.
“As these are the most polluted places in the region, they will be our first targets. We will analyse the reasons and take immediate action,” EPCA chairman Bhure Lal has said.
According to the pollution control department officials in Ghaziabad, the two major contributing factors to pollution are road dust and vehicular emissions.
Figures with the regional transport department show that Ghaziabad, at present, has a registered vehicle base of 8,89,394. Of these, nearly 75,000 were registered in 2015, 79,579 in 2016 and another 65,275 in 2017 till date.
“We have been engaged in enforcement but the activity is restricted to issuing fines. After the National Green Tribunal issued orders to phase out diesel vehicles more than 10 years old and petrol vehicles more than 15 years old, we stopped renewal of fitness certificates of such vehicles. Such renewals and NOCs are given only if the vehicle is being taken outside the NCR region,” said Vishwajeet Singh, additional regional transport officer, Ghaziabad.
The officer said at least a five-acre plot is required to store seized vehicles and that has not been allotted so far. This in turn stops officials from seizing vehicles that are in violation of the NGT order.
According to transport department officials, Ghaziabad has nearly 12,900 diesel vehicles that are over 10 years old and 96,830 petrol vehicles that are older than 15 years.
“The district authorities will have to rope in an entire fleet of city buses to boost local transport and ensure last-mile connectivity. That alone can reduce the dependency of citizens on private vehicles. Funds are not an issue and it can be allocated from the infrastructure fund or even from the corporate social responsibility fund of major industries,” said colonel(retd) TP Tyagi, president of flat owners’ federation.
Since 2012, there have been two attempts by agencies to run a city bus service but the projects failed due to heavy operational losses.As a result, private vehicles are increasing in Ghaziabad and is a major source of worry for residents and authorities.
According to records of the regional pollution control department, Ghaziabad already has high levels of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 and PM10.
The PM2.5 is a major component of what constitutes air pollution. As it is very fine, it can settle in the lungs and worsen asthma and other respiratory problems.
The PM10 level has been ranging from 159.32 micrograms per cubic metre (mpcm) from January to August this year while PM2.5 stood in the range between 31.87 mpcm and 119 mpcm during the same period.
The standard limit for PM10 is 100 mpcm and for PM2.5 is 60 mpcm.
“To removes dust from roads, we have acquired four dust cleaning machines, apart from the two we already have with us. All six vehicles will be operated in different areas to check dust pollution,” said CP Singh, municipal commissioner.