In a first, 18 detained in Noida for violating dust pollution norms
Noida: The path to prison for pollution offences is getting shorter. On Diwali night, over 300 people were arrested in Delhi for bursting crackers outside the time window determined by the Supreme Court. On Saturday, in neighbouring Noida, 18 people were detained for environmental violations like leaving a pile of dirt lying on the road, a mound of sand uncovered, or not sprinkling water at a construction site.
Action for such reasons were unheard of before this, and would take people by surprise still in other parts of the country. But in Delhi-NCR, they mark the beginning of a new chapter of enforcement of pollution-control rules.
Whether these will become part of local administrators’ handbook remains a question. Noida is promising it will, at least over the next few weeks.
“The situation has to be brought under control, which is why I ordered the arrests. These were the first arrests for violating pollution norms. The drive will continue over the coming weeks,” Noida’s district magistrate BN Singh said.
The arrests were made under the Criminal Procedure Code (Section 151) and provisions of the Environmental Protection Act,1986. Both charges are bailable.
Those taken into custody included officials of Galaxy Builders in Sector 4 of Greater Noida west, Town Central, PKS Group in Sector16B, those present at an under-construction Bharat Petroleum pump opposite Ecotech 12 and an illegal stone-crushing unit in Patwari village.
Singh said the arrests followed an inspection earlier in the day. “I visited several areas in the morning and found gross negligence by builders at many construction sites. At a time when air quality here is hovering around the ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ mark every other day, we have offenders flouting norms laid down by the Central Pollution Control Board. So, I ordered the arrests under CrPC,” said Singh.
On Saturday, Noida’s air quality index stood at 384 (very poor).
A NEW CHAPTER? Cops inspect a construction site in Noida