GB Nagar Implements Construction Ban, Excluding Noida International Airport and Hospitals

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    Gautam Budh Nagar District Magistrate, Manish Kumar Verma, has implemented stringent measures to address the escalating air pollution crisis in the region. Following a district environment committee meeting, Verma has enforced a comprehensive ban on all construction activities across the district, effective immediately. The ban is a response to observed widespread violations of restrictions outlined in Stage 3 of the Graded Response Action Plan (Grap), covering all ongoing construction work except for two critical projects: the Noida International Airport in Jewar and hospitals. Verma emphasized the importance of strict adherence to Grap guidelines, stating, “It has come to my attention that despite restrictions imposed on constructions under Grap, the rules are being flouted.”

    As Greater Noida grapples with severe air quality concerns, ranking as the most polluted city in the country for the fifth time in the past seven days, residents are witnessing a substantial deterioration in air quality. The Air Quality Index (AQI) in Greater Noida reached 439 (severe), while Noida reported a marginal improvement with an AQI of 394 (very poor). Fine particulate matter (PM)2.5 and PM10 are identified as the main pollutants.

    To ensure compliance with the construction ban, the district magistrate has issued directives to the traffic and transport departments. Additionally, a ban on the operation of BS-3 petrol and BS-4 diesel vehicles, imposed a week earlier, remains in effect. Violators of these measures will face substantial fines. The construction ban extends to areas where air pollution norms are frequently violated, including Knowledge Park 5, Ecotech 3, Khairpur village, and Eco Village 1.

    District officials, led by the Regional Officer of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) in Greater Noida, Deo K Gupta, have been actively monitoring construction activities. The UPPCB imposed a significant fine of ₹1.5 lakh on three construction activities in Knowledge Park 3, underscoring the stringent approach to enforcing anti-pollution measures.

    Despite dust mitigation measures such as water sprinkling being undertaken in Noida, challenges persist, particularly on link roads to prominent areas. Residents report that while arterial roads receive attention, link roads are neglected, resulting in the accumulation of mud and waste.

    In an effort to curb vehicular emissions, the district magistrate has directed joint enforcement drives by the traffic police and transport departments against banned BS-3 (petrol) and BS-4 (diesel) vehicles. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Anil Kumar Yadav affirmed intensified enforcement, with 5,135 fines issued on a recent Tuesday, including 298 fines for vehicles lacking pollution under control certificates.

    Environmentalists, including Vikrant Tongad, based in Greater Noida, highlight the impact of predominant winds carrying pollutants from neighboring states where biomass burning is occurring. Tongad emphasizes the vulnerability of Greater Noida due to its colder climate, more greenery, and lower traffic levels compared to Noida and other NCR cities.

    So, Gautam Budh Nagar’s proactive measures aim to combat the severe air pollution crisis, with a comprehensive ban on construction and strict enforcement against vehicular emissions. These decisive actions underscore the district’s commitment to safeguarding public health and mitigating the environmental impact.

    Also Read: Innovative Nine-Member Panel Formed by Greater Noida Authority to Resolve Housing Complex Conflicts

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