Residents fear toxic winter as Ggn's air deteriorates
Gurugram: For a city that was seen as a viable alternative from the rush of Delhi three decades ago, Gurugram on Monday has surpassed the national capital in registering poor air quality levels.
After the culmination of festive occasion of vijaydashmi, Gurugram was the most polluted city in India according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). City residents now fear that situation may worsen as Diwali is round the corner.
The scenario of air pollution was not better on Monday either where there was less vehicular traffic on roads on account of a national holiday. The particulate matter of 10 microns was in the levels of 75 to 300 more than the safety limit of 100. The more harmful particulate matters of 2.5 microns ranged between 100 to 150 more than the prescribed limits of 60. There was also high concentration of poisonous gases like nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and ozone.
For long, the deteriorating air quality in the national capital hogged the limelight that caused the public authorities of not paying heed to the equally poor quality of air levels in its own neighbourhood. However, with reports now emerging that the air pollution in the city is again at the point of reaching hazardous levels, not only district administration but even the state government has taken cognisance of the situation.
There is speculation that odd-even may be introduced in the city though the public authorities at present have denied. The officials, however, have conceded that unlike previous years this time there will be drastic measures introduced to prevent another toxic winter for its residents. Gurugram was the first city in the national capital region to introduce concepts like car free day. Lack of proper infrastructure however resulted in such initiatives fizzling out.
Taking account of the grave environmental challenge and health hazard, several measures were announced to improve the air quality levels. On July 6 this year in a high level meeting of public officials it was decided that a special cell would be initiated to enforce ban on burning of waste.
Taking note of the deficiencies in the pollution under control (PUC) centres it was announced that a special cell equipped with tools for testing emission levels of vehicles and technical staff would be constituted. Apart from this, 19 more continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations would be established in the State to monitor air pollution levels.
In order to curb spiralling levels of air pollution in Gurugram, there are now plans to phase out the generators running on diesel and replace it with CNG run gensets. The move will be adopted under graded actions system. Various measures are being taken under this system by public agencies on the suggestions of Apex Court appointed body Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to improve the air quality.