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Gurgaon’s air highest on nitrogen oxide levels
Maruti, DLF issued notices for emitting pollutants
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Almost all major developers and commercial giants in Gurgaon are in the dock for contributing to the fast rising nitrogen oxide levels in its air.
In a recent crackdown on industrial and commercial set-ups using massive generator sets to meet power demands, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has found the level of nitrogen oxides in Gurgaon’s air to be three times the national average.

This makes Gurgaon the most polluted Indian city in terms of nitrogen oxide content in the air. In extreme conditions, NO2 (nitrogen oxide) can lead to cancer of the lungs. It also works as a secondary pollutant and teams up with other pollutants to form ozone.

The survey conducted as part of pollution control exercise in the National Capital Region, has found that 200,000 KW capacity generators are in operation in Gurgaon’s commercial establishments, none fitted with pollution control systems. This, member-secretary, CPCB, Dr B. Sengupta, said was an alarming situation as ‘‘it is adding heavily to noise and air pollution levels.’’

On receiving directions from CPCB the Haryana Pollution Control Board has issued notices to all major players like Maruti and DLF and all big malls, including The Metropolitan. The Chairman, Haryana Pollution Control Board, Mr Sameer Mathur told The Tribune that the notices contained the findings of the CPCB as also the instructions regarding reducing NO2 emissions from generator sets to less than 75 parts per million. ‘‘Although we have not done any sampling after sending the notices we have learnt that the defaulters have not responded to our instructions.’’

The Haryana Pollution Control Board is now planning legal action against all the industries and developers which have not conformed to its instructions of reducing emissions of NO2. The legal notices are due to be issued under the Air Act of 1981.

Also, authorities have been holding public hearings in Gurgaon to make clear to all new developers to install generators that meet the parameters set up the CPCB. The CPCB, meanwhile, is extremely concerned about indiscriminate development and commercial activity in Gurgaon. Said Dr Sengupta, ‘‘the state government must first set up a major power plant and ensure that all new entrants to Gurgaon comply with pollution control standards. They also need to install acoustic controllers to check noise pollution.’’

As of now, the Haryana Pollution Control Board has instructed all big players to install automatic online ambient air machines on their buildings so that the analysis of emission from generators and other sources becomes possible.

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