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Despite the outcry over deteriorating air-quality levels, Noida Authority — with impunity — has decided to overlook environmental laws in the ongoing work of covering drains.
Heaps of loose soil were found lying in the open for the past one week adjacent to the boundary wall of Sector 17, and also near Captain Vijyant Thapar Marg, posing a serious health hazard for thousands of Metro commuters using the Sector 16 and Sector 18 stations.
The construction work is being carried out by third-party contractors, and they did nothing about the loose dust.
But today, Noida Authority decided to wake up. It got the place covered with a green cloth, and had workers sprinkle water on it.
In the wake of the ongoing environmental crisis, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered all civic bodies in the NCR to sprinkle water at places with loose dust to reduce pollution.
According to construction regulations stipulated by NGT and the state pollution board, loose soil cannot be left in the open — it has to be kept wet. Also, the construction area should be fenced off with a wet, green cloth to reduce mixing of dust in the air.
Commuters have obviously been at the receiving end.
“We use this stretch in the morning and evening hours — and it is always dusty these days. It feels like smog — the air is thick with dust. We find it difficult to breathe,” complained Peeyush Kumar, a resident of Sector 19.
When City Spidey contacted SC Mishra, project engineer of Noida Authority, he said, “We will remove the heaps soon. We have been sprinkling water in the morning and the evening hours.”
He added, “The soil that came from the drain is already wet, so we leave it to dry before removing it four to five days later. We also stopped construction work after the NGT order came in yesterday. The work of covering the drain started in October 2016, and is 70 per cent complete."
According to the Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) chairman Dr Bhure Lal, flouting of laws during construction work leads to the most air pollution in Noida.
How much damage does it take to wake up!
TAGS: NGT / Dust / Pollution / Captain Vijyant Thapar Marg / Metro / Sector 17 / Construction Work / Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority / Dr Bhure Lal
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