Punjabi Bagh follows Anand Vihar
Anand Vihar is known for being a veritable gas chamber, however, the pollution levels in Punjabi Bagh is no better.
As Anand Vihar is situated at the eastern border of the national Capital, the high pollution levels in the area is often blamed on neighbouring areas of Uttar Pradesh. But the rising pollution levels in Punjabi Bagh, which is situated inside Delhi, is becoming a grave concern among environmentalists.
Often ranking second in being the most polluted area after Anand Vihar, Punjabi Bagh on certain occasions has even surpassed Anand Vihar in having high levels of harmful particulate matters 2.5 and 10 microns along with containing other poisonous gaseous concentrations in its air.
According to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s (DPCC) air quality data, the PM 10 levels from last week of November to the first week of December has hovered between 250-640 units; levels way below the safe limits of 100 units. The more harmful PM2.5 levels with a safe level of 60 units have also been much higher at 140-410 units.
Punjabi Bagh also contains high concentration of Ozone, Nitrogen Oxide and Sulphur Dioxide. Even as high density vehicular traffic and dust generated from the construction activities are believed to be usual reasons, experts have cited that a large number of illegal, hazardous industrial units around
Punjabi Bagh are leading to the deterioration of the air quality in the area.
In mentioning that the industrial units around Punjabi Bagh area have no pollution control devices to regulate the smoke emanating from the chimneys, Priti Mahesh an environment activist says: “There are various unorganised industrial units operating around Punjabi Bagh. These units are mostly involved in plastic moulding and metal works.”
He further informed that even as coal-based chimneys are not allowed within Delhi because of the pollution they cause, most of these units use coal chimneys for extracting metals like iron, aluminum and nickel. Mahesh further added: “These units also do not have effective policies of discharging their waste. The waste from the units is either openly burnt or mixed with the municipal waste which ends up in landfills.”
Stating that a more proactive approach will have to be adopted by the civic authorities, Vivek Chattopadhyay of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said: “In Punjabi Bagh it is high vehicular traffic and unorganised industrial units. The government must order a comprehensive study for the various aspects relating to pollution. There has to be a more proactive and far reaching approach in tackling pollution in the city.”