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Air pollution: 18 held in Gr Noida for flouting NGT orders

Air pollution: 18 held in Gr Noida for flouting NGT orders

Noida: Eighteen people were arrested in Gautam Buddh Nagar's Greater Noida Saturday for allegedly violating the National Green Tribunal's orders on checking air pollution, officials said.

This is the first such action in Delhi-National Capital Region in which arrests have been made at construction sites where material was found uncovered and dust was blowing, they said.

A team of subdivisional magistrate, Dadri, Anjani Kumar Singh, Police Circle Officer, Bisrakh, Nishank Sharma and officials of the Central Pollution Control Board carried out inspections at the construction sites where dust was blowing in violation of the NGT orders, the district administration said.

"Eighteen people were arrested under Section 151 -- of the CrPC-- and have been sent to jail," it said in a statement.

The accused were arrested from the sites of Galaxy Builders in Sector 4, Town Central, PKS group in Sector 16B, an under construction Bharat Petroleum filling statuin opposite Ecotech 12 and an illegal crushing/grinding unit from Sector -2 (Village Patwari), it said.

Cases against them were being initiated under the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986, it added.

District Magistrate, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Brajesh Narain Singh said similar action would continue further against those violating the guidelines and orders of the Supreme Court, the central government and the NGT.

"If we look at the air quality indicators, they are consistently in the 'poor' or the 'very poor' category and that seems to have become the new normal. We are making all efforts towards checking air pollution and improving air quality,"

he said.

Singh added that in compliance with the court orders, 61 people were arrested in Gautam Buddh Nagar for bursting crackers during Diwali and thereby contributing to air pollution.

The NGT had last month ordered a temporary ban on construction activities in Delhi-NCR in the wake of alarming air pollution situation ahead of Diwali. The green panel had also directed that no construction material be kept in the open even after the ban was lifted.

The SC had on November 26 directed the CPCB, State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) and authorities under the Graded Action Plan "to take immediate action for prosecution" against government officials who have not penalised polluters despite receiving complaint against them.

Meanwhile, Delhi's air quality remained 'very poor' on Saturday even as authorities warned of a spike in pollution level from the next week when dense fog is expected to engulf the national capital.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded an overall air quality index (AQI) of 343.

An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor' and 401 and 500 is 'severe'.

The air quality in four areas –Jahangirpuri and Nehru Nagar recorded severe air quality while 26 areas recorded very poor air quality and two areas recorded poor air quality, according to CPCB.

The overall PM2.5 (fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometre) level was recorded at 193 and the PM10 level at 353, it said. In NCR, Faridabad and Noida recorded 'very poor' air quality, the CPCB data showed.

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