In a measure that could only be described as too late and too little, Gurugram deputy commissioner T L Satyaprakash imposed Section 144 CrPc across the city, to prohibit burning in the open of waste/garbage or any material that causes air pollution and aggravates smog formation.
The order applies with the immediate effect and will continue till the city becomes smoke-free, he said.
The near-asphyxiating quality of air in Delhi-NCR seems to be the reason for the Gurugram authorities to wake up from deep slumber.
In the past few days, residents of Noida, Gurugram and Delhi found themselves in the yellowish, dirt-ridden haze of smog. The ideal PM (particulate matter) of 10 has reached toxic levels of 999 in various parts of Delhi – more than 10 times higher than what is considered safe to breathe. The PM 2.5 also rose to 743.
As per the order, any person who notices burning of garbage/waste in the open can complain to the local SHO, MCG joint commissioner (sub-divisional magistrates for areas outside MCG limits) and the regional officer of Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB).
“The person held responsible shall be liable to pay compensation following Section 15 of the NGT Act, 2010, under the principle of ‘polluter pays’,” states the order. As per NGT, penalty of Rs 5,000 can be charged for burning waste in the open.
The order also directs MCG sanitary inspectors to ensure contractors/staff do not burn garbage in the open. “If such an incident is reported, the concerned SSI shall ensure the polluter is dealt with strictly,” the order states.
The order encourages citizens to report such incidents. “All civil society groups and citizens may inform such a prohibitive practice of stubble burning on the Swachh Bharat app, and the same shall be taken cognisance by respective joint commissioners through the zonal in-charge,” states the order.
The DC also urged residents and city RWAs to support the district administration in curbing pollution level to maintain peaceful and healthy ambience in the city.
Despite this stringent measure, it remains to be seen whether such an action yields any results.