Capacity Building Workshop on Air Pollution Control & Environmental Issues in Gurugram organized by GMDA

- Emphasis to mitigate air pollution & undertake remedial measures to improve air quality in the city

Gurugram, 8 January: A Capacity Building Workshop on Air Pollution Control & Environmental Issues in Gurugram was organized by Gurugram with the aim to discuss the various facets of air pollution. Shri P. Raghavendra Rao, Chairperson, Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Present were Additional CEO GMDA, Shri Subhash Yadav and other senior officers from GMDA, Municipal Corporation Manesar among others. The event also saw the participation of various RWA representatives & experts working in the field of environment conservation. The all-day workshop was held at Apparel House, Gurugram.

The workshop to improve air quality was held as part of the project of Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT), an organization under United Nations. Three cities were identified for capacity building workshop which include Bangkok, Dhaka and Gurugram.

A series of panel discussions were conducted in today’s workshop to outline the burning issue of prevalent air pollution in the city, the various factors contributing to air pollution, the impact of air pollution on human well-being and the various measures being taken up to further address the issue.

“The aim of today’s event is to encourage in a dialogue and come up with an Action Plan to cohesively work together to save and nurture our Earth. Behavioral change at an individual level is of utmost importance and all our actions should be pro-planet to leave the world a better place for the coming generations. Efforts are being taken by various government departments to improve air quality in the city by identifying the key problem areas as well as implementing the solutions required to address these issues,” said Shri Raghavendra Rao. 

In comparison to the year 2022, the number of active fire locations in Haryana in 2023 have come down to 39% which is also 49% lesser as compared to the year 2021 he said.

He added that maximum impact is possible when every citizen backs the initiatives being undertaken by the government. As a society, collective efforts are required to curb the deterioration of air quality. Prevalent issues such as waste & residual crop burning, C&D activities, use of DG sets, emission of old vehicles, poor traffic management, among others need to be tackled to make a greater positive change.

Shri Subhash Yadav, Additional Chief Executive Officer of GMDA outlined that various initiatives are being taken up by the Authority in the city. Development & maintenance of green belts is being taken up wherein all encroachments will be removed & plantation of shurbs & trees will be taken up. Water bodies are also being developed in the city which will also support groundwater recharge & presently 75 ponds under MCG area are under development.

Furthermore, improving mobility factor and traffic management, enhancement of footpaths and cycle tracks in the city are also some key measures being taken up by GMDA to curb air pollution.

Dr Harshad Salve from Department of Community Medicine, AIIMS Delhi, presented key impacts of air pollution on health. He outlined that prolonged exposure to high pollution can have long-term impact on health and can impair health functions. Respiratory, reproductive, cardiovascular are some common health issues that can be caused due to environmental pollution. He stressed that a healthy diet that involves low salt & high vegetable & fruit consumption, physical activity for 30 minutes daily, abstinence from alcohol and tobacco, focusing on mental health, etc, are lifestyle changes & habit that every individual must practice.    

Senior representatives from DLF and M3M Foundation also showcased the sustainable and environment friendly initiatives such as rejuvenation of ponds, plantation and development of green cover, reuse/remodeling of waste materials, etc, which are being taken by their organizations. 

RWA representatives of various societies in Gurugram were present in the workshop today and submitted their valuable ideas and suggestions to improve the air quality situation in Gurugram. 

Gauri Sarin, Convener of Making Model Gurugram, a citizen’s group put up the suggestion that an Environment Committee may be set up which would include public participants. Additionally, an environment fund may also be collected which may be utilized for environment conservation purposes.

Praveen Malik, RWA President of SARE Homes presented the various eco-friendly practices adopted by the society such as complete segregation of solid & wet waste at the source, development of ponds and green belts, etc. 

Strict implementation of policies and rules to keep a check on activities that aggravate air pollution is to be strictly looked into by the government departments, voiced the representatives of RWAs.

The various stakeholders in the workshop today emphasized that steps to tackle air pollution are the need of the hour and a collective community effort is required to make an impact that will benefit the future generation 

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