NGT's ban forces 200 industrial units to down shutters
Gurugram: Deadly air pollution levels have forced district administration to close more than 200 industrial units in the city. Not only are the smaller players but even the bigger players like Maruti, Honda have also been directed to close their boilers and gensets.
All these industrial units will remain shutdown till the National Green Tribunal (NGT) hears the matter on Tuesday (November 14). Various industrial units like garment export factories and auto ancillary units that have propelled Gurugram's economy will be affected. There have also been strict orders to shut down all the brick kilns, stone crushers and hot mix plants. Usage of coal and fire woods has also been banned in open eateries and hotels.
The municipal body and the Haryana state pollution control board (HSPCB) have been given directions to enforce rules for construction activities and impose heavy fines on the erring builders.
Moreover, the supply of edible stuff and other essential items have also been affected as movement of trucks in Delhi-NCR have been restricted. The radical measures come at a time when the city's air level quality has only been deteriorating.
On Friday, based on the data by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Gurugram's air quality air quality levels were even worse than Delhi and it was second most polluted city in the country after Kanpur.
On Sunday, also the situation does not seems to be better with harmful particulate matter of 2.5 microns being at the levels of more than 450, way above the safe limit of 60.
Guards, maids risk lives to make ends meet
Gurugram: The levels of air in Gurugram have reached to such levels that prolonged exposure to it can cause irreparable damage to your respiratory healthy. Yet knowingly, each day, lakhs of people are inhaling this deadly air and thereby falling ill. Among the worst hit are the security guards and the domestic maids who are forced to perform their duties.
There are over 30,000 private security guards who have been employed in the residential condominiums and commercial centres in the city. Being mostly out in open during their duty hours, some of the guards when spoken to highlight that working in these conditions caused them immense discomfort.
The conditions are worse during the night time and early morning hours as mentioned by the guards. "Every guard has been complaining of the discomfort caused in these conditions. Guards who work in the night and morning shifts share their grievances the most. Problems like burning sensation in eyes, coughing, and in the dire situations difficulty to breathe are some of the major problems raised by the guards," said Mohar Singh
Situation does not seem to be better for most of the domestic maids either. Most of them work in at least five houses and thereby start their work early in the morning. "Even as our job requires us to work in the open most of my colleagues do not wear masks when they go out. Many of us still do not realise that the air we are breathing is very unhealthy even though we are showing symptoms of getting affected by it," said Rakhi.
Take car-free challenge if you care for city
Gurugram: Tthe air quality levels in Gurugram is deteriorating day-by-day and is adversely affecting the health of its citizens. Vehicular pollution is considered to be the major source of pollution in Gurugram.
For a city that had devised innovative measures like car-free day and Raahgiri there are now plans to introduce car-free challenge. Under this challenge, the residents are urged to give up the use of their private vehicles for a week. There are plans to hold this challenge from November 20 to 26. The event is already being publicised through social media. There have been already more than 70 people that have enrolled for the unique challenge.
The organisers hope that not only will this result in decreasing the pollution levels but it can also reduce the number of accidents in the city.
According to official estimates, around eight deaths are reported daily in the city due to accidents, most of these deaths are that of the pedestrians.
In the past, the District Authorities were forced to build Foot over Bridge (FOB) by the local residents owing to death of pedestrians by movement of speeding vehicles at Gurugram, Faridabad area. Yet, residents complain that because of poor maintenance and incomplete work the people are not using the FOB.
Even as more than 8 lakh vehicles ply daily on Gurugram roads, the organisers hope to rope in the residents who live closer to their workplaces. Lack of effective public transportation systems and poor road safety designs are seen as a major challenge in the success of the event.