Delhi chokes: How agencies deserted to clean up
Smoke-billowing vehicles, unauthorised industrial units, garbage burning and construction & demolition dust continue to throttle people's lungs there

HIGHLIGHTS

  • As per a Mail Today report, there is hardly any breather at many of the 13 toxic hubs of Delhi
  • Due to weak public transport system, locals are forced to use their vehicles
  • Okhla Phase-2 residents say industries emit smoke, triggering a rise in respiratory illnesses

Delhi chokes: How agencies deserted to clean up: In October, authorities recognised 13 Delhi pockets blowing under spiralling air pollution produced by a slew of parts. They promised specific and stringent procedures to help people move quickly.

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On Nov 1, soon after Diwali, Supreme Court-mandated watchdog EPCA said a public health crisis in the city as the air-quality worsened drastically.

Delhi chokes: How agencies deserted to clean up, 2-days later, contamination levels rose to a 3-year high, helping top Central gov officials to hold a connection with Delhi, Punjab and Haryana over the problem of farm fires.

Now a ground record by MAIL TODAY unveils

that there is hardly any breather at several of the 13 toxic hearts of Rohini, Dwarka, Anand Vihar, Okhla Phase II, Punjabi Bagh, Vivek Vihar, Wazirpur, Jahangirpuri, Narela, RK Puram, Bawana, Mundka, Mayapuri.

Smoke billowing vehicles, illegal industrial units, waste burning and construction & destruction dust continue to restrict people’s lungs there. Here’s what we discussed at some of those hotspots.

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RK PURAM

The air in this rich South Delhi area is foul owing to vehicular discharges. The residential range falls between the busy Ring Road and the Outer Ring Road. These roads have restricted space for widening & bear a daily part of 8-lakh vehicles.

Traffic movement from Moti Bagh, Africa Avenue, Dhaula Kuan, Marg & Som Vihar leads to difficult gridlocks, triggering feathers of noxious fume.

“Huge traffic jams as peak hours start to pollution. As a precautionary measure, we have carried out farms along the roads,” stated RK Puram AAP MLA Parmila Tokas.

DWARKA

Due to inadequate public transport systems, locals are forced to use their vehicles, but the road base is not enough to take the pressure. Times such as Pankha Road, Mahavir Enclave, Som Vihar and Dabri choked. “Many business signals don’t work, and cops can hardly see,” replied Sharmila Bhaumik, a citizen.

Locals told vacant plots are being used to dump garbage, which is regularly burning. Many industrial units also provide to pollution.

“Instead of maintaining constant traffic flow, cops are busy fining commuters. Easing jams is more important. Industries in Dabri are also responsible for harmful gasses,” told AAP’s Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri.

OHKLA PHASE-II

Residents related businesses are emitting smoke, triggering a rise in respiratory illnesses. A large number of investment vehicles come to factories which creates traffic congestion and pollution. There is a persistent foul smell coming from the landfill site in Okhla, which makes it challenging to remain in the city.

“Industries release smoke. Traffic volume is large. Due to press on roads, pollution is also important,” stated Sahi Ram Pahalwan, AAP’s Tughlakabad MLA.

MUNDKA

A large number of scrap traders burn plastics. Since the area borders Haryana, the action hardly takes due to state jurisdiction issues.

Many hot-mix plants generate dust and toxic gasses. “No measures like sprinkling water on roads or mechanised sweeping are done. How will pollution levels come down?” asked Kavita Bishnoi, a resident.

AAP MLA from Mundka Sukhbir Singh said plastic burning is a significant threat. “It’s ten times more dangerous than crop stubble burning,” he said.

Delhi chokes: How agencies deserted to clean up

ANAND VIHAR

Anand Vihar sandwich between two industrial areas –Sahibabad in Uttar Pradesh and Patparganj in East Delhi. Hundreds of factories release toxic fumes. A massive quantity of plastic and solid waste can be seen burning as authorities look the other way.

Close to 4,500 buses use Anand Vihar Terminal. Many of them are polluting and come from neighbouring states where regulations aren’t as strict. “You cannot live in Anand Vihar without covering your nose,” said Sushmita Sinha, a local.

OP Sharma, BJP MLA from Vishwas Nagar, confirmed that industries are significant polluters.

JAHANGIRPURI

The air is foul. Plastic waste is burning after every midnight, despite curbs imposed by anti-pollution agencies. Piles of solid waste are familiar sights. There is only one way of disposal — set them on fire.

Manoj Kumar, a local, said even electric wires are burnt to extract copper. “Bags full of waste are kept on roads. Some of it sent for recycling. The rest is burning. Factories also lead to pollution. I have lodged several complaints, but to no avail,” said Pawan Kumar Sharma, AAP MLA from Adarsh Nagar.

BAWANA & NARELA

Industries and traffic jams are significant culprits here too. Most roads are narrow, potholed and congested.

These Outer Delhi areas are quite old and highly populated. There is no space for road widening.

“Inadequate police presence adds to the chaos. Jams sometimes last four hours,” said Bawana trader Shyam Khatana. AAP MLA from Bawana Ram Chander said that these clusters came up long back without proper planning. “Traffic movement is slow, leading to high emissions,” he said.

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