Anand Vihar: Capital’s veritable gas chamber
Anand Vihar, tagged to be the most polluted area of the national Capital, has now virtually turned into a “death trap.” It is having an air quality level which is much severe than its prescribed
levels with particulate matter 10 micron levels recorded between 900-1,400 micrograms per cubic metre.
The safer limit in this case being 100 micrograms per cubic metre and PM 2.5 levels at 300-500 micro grams per cubic metre with the standard being 60 micrograms per cubic metre.
There is also large of concentration of gases like nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide. These levels can cause severe respiratory ailments, feel doctors.
On being asked what makes Anand Vihar so polluted, Vivek Chattopadhyay of Centre for Science and Environment says: “At first, there is no proper mechanism to identify the hotspots for causes of pollution. There is only one monitoring centre in the area. In a place that is located on an arterial highway, an industrial centre and a landfill site where most of the waste is burnt, correct identification first and then appropriate action is the need of the hour.
“The proximity of Sahibabad industrial area which has been described by Comprehensive Environment Pollution Index (CEPI) report as one of the most polluted industrial regions in the country also does not make matters easy for the residents of Anand Vihar,” said one of the environmental experts.
“High vehicular pollution, presence of ISBT where most of the state buses run on diesel and the waste burning at Ghazipur are some of the major causes of high pollution in Anand Vihar,” reasoned Polash Mukherjee of CSE. An UP transportation corporation official stated that there are around 1,000 buses plying from Anand Vihar ISBT. According to reports, there is 50 lakh tonnes of accumulated waste at Ghazipur landfill site.
When the ministry of Environment, Delhi government, was asked about the dangerous pollution levels in Anand Vihar and what are the steps that have been taken in this direction, an official said: “Rising pollution level is a matter of concern in Anand Vihar. The present policy of the Delhi government should be practiced by the residents of Anand Vihar.” Regarding waste management at Ghazipur landfill, he added: “Other areas are been considered to reduce the burden on Ghazipur.”
“Even though NGT has banned the burning of waste and there is a heavy fine on it, rules are flouted openly,” says Chattopadhyay.