The Delhi-NCR region is transforming into a gas chamber due to pollution. To manage the situation, Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, and Ghaziabad have implemented the Graded Response Action Plan-3 (GRAP-3).
A sense of panic has gripped Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, and Ghaziabad, with conditions akin to a lockdown. Ghaziabad's Loni area is facing particularly severe conditions.
According to the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board's data, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Loni has reached nearly 500. A similar situation prevails in Greater Noida.
In Greater Noida's Knowledge Park 3, the AQI has reached close to 500, according to the Pollution Control Board's statistics.
The situation in Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, and Ghaziabad has become alarming. Smoke clouds are visible everywhere, making it difficult for people to even open their eyes. Breathing has become a challenge. It seems as if the entire NCR has turned into a gas chamber.
In light of this, the Central Pollution Control Board has implemented Graded Response Action Plan-3 across the entire NCR.
With the enforcement of GRAP-3, construction activities have been halted. Moreover, restrictions have been imposed on operating BS-3 and BS-4 vehicles.
The Meteorological Department has issued a warning that pollution in Delhi, Noida, and Greater Noida could reach severe levels in the next two days.
The conditions are expected to worsen. Citizens are advised to use vehicles sparingly. Diesel vehicles, in particular, are strongly discouraged from being used. It is recommended to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary, and try to manage most tasks from home.
The concentration of Particulate Matter 10 (PM10) in the air in Greater Noida has significantly increased, primarily comprising of dust and metallic particles.
On Saturday, the PM10 level in Greater Noida mostly remained above 500, while the normal range for PM10 is considered to be below 200. Even the PM2.5 level exceeded 500 in the evening.
The causes of the increase in PM2.5 and PM10 is the burning of waste, dust in the air, and construction activities. The rising levels of PM2.5 and PM10 are making it extremely difficult for the people to go outdoors, with difficulty in breathing and burning eyes, posing the most significant problems for the elderly and children.
A smog blanket has enveloped the entire NCR, including Noida and Ghaziabad, making it challenging for people to breathe. Ghaziabad, in particular, has reached a severe condition concerning air quality.
The Ghaziabad district administration, despite making claims and promises, is struggling to curb the rising pollution. Loni in Ghaziabad is the most polluted area, with the AQI reaching near 500.
A video has surfaced from Loni showing a water sprinkler operating near the AQI monitoring system, attempting to clear the pollution around the AQI machine, and reduce the rising levels.
In Loni, an AQI monitoring system has been set up at the Municipal Corporation office, where a continuous water cannon is being used to confuse the machine that measures AQI.
The Noida Authority has imposed fines of more than Rs one crore on 272 locations for violating the National Green Tribunal (NGT) rules. In the past three days, fines amounting to Rs 22.75 lakh have been imposed on 40 locations for violations of regulations.
Additionally, due to negligence in air pollution control in the area, the salaries of three senior management members in Work Circle Three have been withheld.
Sanjay Khatri, the CEO of the authority, convened an online meeting on curbing air pollution, where all department officials were present. It was mentioned that 60 sprinklers are being used daily for water spraying, and 66 smoke guns have been installed at crucial construction sites.
Under the Air Quality Management Act, action was taken against over 5,000 vehicles in the area during the fortnight as part of the Graded Response Action Plan.
The Noida traffic police had initiated an enforcement campaign from October 17-31.
According to DCP (Traffic) Anil Kumar Yadav, the owners of 57 diesel vehicles older than 10 years and 114 petrol vehicles older than 15 years were fined during this campaign. Continuous action through fines is being taken during the ongoing Traffic Month from November 1.
In light of the increasing pollution, if one has to venture outdoors, it's essential to take precautions otherwise one might be vulnerable to various diseases.
According to senior physician Dr Amit, if it's necessary to go out amid such smoggy conditions, some important measures need to be taken. The foremost being protecting one's face and eyes by using masks.
Wearing a mask can provide some protection against pollution. He advised washing the eyes with cold water periodically to soothe any irritation caused by pollution. It's also crucial to minimise the time spent outdoors.
Breathing becomes quite challenging during such smoggy weather. Therefore, it's essential to avoid staying outside for long durations. Use herbal remedies and other syrups only upon a doctor's advice to improve throat health.
(With inputs from IANS)