With ₹121 crore, Ghaziabad municipal corporation plans air quality and solid waste infra improvement
Ghaziabad: The city in the next six months will be equipped with air filters, vacuum cleaners, more anti-smog guns and other equipment to deal with the rising pollution levels. The Ghaziabad municipal corporation (GMC) has devoted ₹121 crore for the air quality improvement and solid waste management in the city, officials said.
A committee of officers has also approved the plan under which detailed infrastructure improvement measures have been given a go-ahead, the officials said.
The officials of the corporation said that an amount of ₹60.5 crore each will be devoted for air quality improvement and solid waste management. The funds under the Fifteenth Finance Commission were received from the state government, they said.
“The plan has been prepared through public feedback and ground level assessment, and will be implemented in the next six months. With the funds, we will certainly improve city’s air quality and also the solid waste scenario. The pollution abatement measures will not only be taken up during winters but will go round the year,” said MS Tanwar, Ghaziabad municipal commissioner.
The Ghaziabad city is already in a list of 16 non-attainment cities in Uttar Pradesh which suffer high levels of air pollution.
Under the air quality improvement measures, the corporation has planned for paving of dusty road patches with greenery and cut stones, while 200 parks will be developed with more greenery in place. The funds will also be used for development of a ‘city forest’ near New Bus Adda metro station where about 32 acres of land is available.
“This proposal has been pending for long and given in-principle approval by the corporation board. In the middle of the city forest, we will develop a lake while the entire surrounding will be turned into dense forestry. Earlier, the Ghaziabad development authority had shown interest in developing it, but now we have planned to develop it as it is our own land,” Tanwar said.
The city forest area suffered major damages way back in 2008 when overflowing drain submerged trees in sewage and damaged hundreds of them.
The city will also get 30 big air filters which, the corporation has decided, will be installed at as many locations in major markets and commercial areas to abate polluted surroundings.
The corporation has also decided that 579 of its vehicles will be converted from diesel to CNG and a CNG filling station will also come up. They will also procure six more anti-smog guns with each having capacity of 6,000 litres.
“We have planned five plants for processing of daily solid waste and all of these will start functioning by April/May. We have also planned to purchase 100 CNG-run autos and 100 e-rickshaws which will be roped in for door-to-door collection in localities having smaller lanes. For city’s internal roads, we will procure five more of mechanised road sweeping machines,” Tanwar added.
City mayor Asha Sharma, who is the chairperson of the committee, said that 90% of the funds will be devoted to air quality improvement and improvement of big drains. “Air quality improvement is much needed for the city as pollution levels are high. Besides, overflowing of big drains also cause major issues for many localities. So, these will be taken up on priority and we have planned that infrastructure works will be put in place in the next six months,” she said.
Environmentalists said that proper monitoring of implementation of the works is must. “If the corporation is roping in huge funds, they must hire independent experts for evaluation of performance. Besides, they should plan step-wise implementation. If the initial phase yields result, it should be taken up to the next level. Otherwise, using all funds for infrastructure procurement will be futile,” said Akash Vashishtha, a city-based environmentalist.