It is now official. Gurgaon ranks among the country’s five most polluted cities. But for the hapless residents this news does not come as a surprise since pollution is a problem that they have been battling for the past several months.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data revealed that Gurgaon is one of the three NCR cities that find mention among the country’s five most polluted cities.
Gurgaon’s average air quality index was 247 last year which is very very high according to CPCB data.
Ghaziabad, with an average air quality index (AQI) of 258, topped the list. Gurgaon was close behind with an AQI of 247, and Delhi ranked fourth at 228. Noida, Faridabad and Alwar, other heavily polluted cities in the NCR, ranked 8th, 11th and 12th respectively.
The residents have said that repairing the damage will take a lot of effort from all the stakeholders. Other than spreading awareness, lot of ground level work needs to be done to reduce pollution levels, according to them.
On Thursday, the air quality index was at 298 which was well in the ‘poor’ category.
“The government has not taken the air pollution issue seriously. Nothing has changed on the ground. Every year the area gets more polluted because it is losing its tree cover quickly and there is a steady rise in the incidents of garbage burning. Burning garbage and large-scale construction activities are increasing pollution in the air,” said Shona Chatterji, a resident of DLF Phase 1.
Another resident, Parimal Bardhan told City Spidey, “Dust and smoke are the two primary causes of serious air pollution in our city. Smoke due to rampant burning of garbage and unplanned and unregulated construction activities, unpaved roads and medians, are the major causes for deterioration in air quality. The Municipal Corportion of Gurgaon (MCG) has failed to control these two aspects. We have also written to MCG to take tough steps to ensure that waste management and composting are taken up by RWAs and housing societies, which in turn will reduce the incidents of garbage burning .”
Some residents are even wondering if it was a good idea to move into Gurgaon.
“I moved to Gurgaon from Bangalore a year back and since then I have been suffering from respiratory issues,” said Pritika Bharati, a resident of South City-1.
Meanwhile, officials of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) admit that bringing down pollution is not an overnight task.
“Our teams are monitoring all polluting units in the city and MCG officials sprinkle water in different areas to tackle the problem,” said JB Sharma, regional officer, HSPCB. Tackling pollution would take time, but constant monitoring and sustained efforts will yield good results in the future, he added.