Gurugram chokes as air quality level falls below WHO standards
Even the onset of monsoon does not seem to have brought respite to residents of Gurugram, who are still forced to breathe poisonous air due to deadly air pollution.
While PM10 particles hovering in Gurugram are at levels of 300-400 µg/m³ (micrograms per cubic metre), the more dangerous PM2.5 particles are being recorded at 100-200 levels.
The prevalent levels are much higher than the safety standards prescribed by World Health Organisation, which is 100 µg/m³ for PM10 and 60 µg/m³ for PM2.5. There is also high concentration of other poisonous gases like Sulphur Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide.
Meanwhile, Delhi – one of the world's most polluted cities – seems to show a marked improvement.
As per recent data by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), air quality levels in the national Capital have not breached the danger zone since June 15.
Data revealed by public agency System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting Research (SAFAR) on Friday showed that in Delhi, PM10 levels were at 68 µg/m³, while PM2.5 levels were at 45 µg/m³, both way below the danger level.
Intervention from the judiciary, strict action by public authorities in phasing out poor quality diesel vehicles and favourable weather conditions are seen as major factors behind improvement in Delhi's air quality.
In contrast, Gurugram – plagued by continued traffic disruptions, rampant construction and weak regulations on burning of garbage waste – continues to grapple with air pollution caused by dust and harmful gases discharged by vehicles.
Rising air pollution in Gurugram has also led to rise in asthma patients in the city.
In the last three years, the number of asthmatic patients in the Millennium city increased three fold, as evident from the data of the District Health Department.
In 2015, a test conducted on 100 district public officials showed that over 57 per cent of the bureaucrats had lung impairment disorder.
To tackle the situation, a high-level meeting for implementation of a Graded Response was organised in Gurugram on July 6, where several measures were announced to improve air quality levels.
It was decided that a special cell would be formed to enforce a ban on burning of waste. Taking cognisance of the defects in PUC centres, it was announced that a special cell equipped with tools for testing emission levels of vehicles and technical staff would be constituted.
Additionally, 19 more continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations would be established in the states.