Service-class Noida is more polluted than industrial hub Ghaziabad and Haryana's Faridabad.
Particularly in winters, Noida's particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and total carbon levels are 50 per cent over Ghaziabad and 100 per cent more than that of Faridabad. Noida, like Delhi, needs emergency measures to tackle pollution in the air, failing which the whole region would not see any significant relief. This is one of the findings of an IIT Kanpur report-'Comprehensive Study on Air Pollution and Green House Gases (GHGs) in Delhi'- submitted recently.
The IIT-K report is only the second-of-its-kind done for the Capital. It was commissioned by the Delhi government in 2012. It was carried out between 2012 and 2015, and scientifically studied all the sources of air pollutants in Delhi and their respective contribution.
It also took samples from three NCR townships - Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad - for a broad-ranging study. This was done for nine days in summer (June 17-25, 2014) and for 15 days in winter (January 15-29, 2015).
The study observed that Noida has very high levels of both Particulate Matter 10 (PM10) and PM2.5. PM10 stands at 1210 ìg/m3 in winters and 410 ìg/m3 in summers. The acceptable level is 100 ìg/m3. PM2.5 reads 810 ìg/m3 in winters and 375 ìg/m3 in summers. The safe limit is 60 ìg/m3.
In Ghaziabad, PM10 stands at 810 ìg/m3 in winters and 500 ìg/m3 in summers. PM2.5 reads 610 ìg/m3 in winters and 310 ìg/m3 in summers. In Faridabad, PM2.5 in winters reads as 480 ìg/m3 and in summers as 210 ìg/m3. Nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, organic compounds, elemental carbon and total carbon clock is equally bad in Noida, much worse than neighbouring Ghaziabad and Faridabad.
Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director of research and advocacy at the Centre for Science and Environment, said, "It is the repercussion of planning and designing satellite areas without taking connectivity into account. Noida has no rapid public transport system. Car dependency is huge and so is the traffic volume." Noida has around 1.63 lakh private cars and 11,594 commercial taxis. The metro in Noida is always crowded with an average footfall of 35,166 at the Noida City Center station.
Vikrant Tongad, an environmentalist working with Delhibased Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE), commented, "Thousands of heavy vehicles, including diesel-run trucks, criss-cross Noida every day. Most are destined for Punjab, Haryana and other states. Pollution checks at gas stations are very lax. Besides, adulterated petrol and diesel are sold here freely."
There are over 100 brick kilns in Ghaziabad besides more than 300 polluting industries here include dyeing units, abattoirs, smelters, tanneries, textiles, chemical making and paper units. All of these are highly polluting. "Additionally, Faridabad has the issue of being in the influence zone of the coalpowered Badarpur power plant," Anumita added.
UP's Gautam Budh Nagar administration has recently taken some radical steps to curb road congestion and spiraling air pollution. From January 1, working hours and timings of schools, shops, factories and corporate offices have been altered in Noida, Greater Noida and other surrounding areas. Weekly holidays have also been altered.
All industrial units in Noida have also been asked to switch to piped natural gas by March 31 or face closure. IT firms have been urged to phase out diesel cars.