The city is clamouring for a breath of fresh air. With generators becoming a parallel lifeline,noise and air pollution leave residents fuming
Heavy traffic,lack of greenery,thick black smoke emanating from auto-rickshaws,bumpy roads,littered garbage,choked lanes,and encroached roadsides the list is endless. The new irritant in the list is generators,courtesy incessant powercuts in the city.
Gensets have given a new lease of life to the power-starved city. Whether it is winter or summer,gensets have become an ally for all seasons. With black smoke and deafening noise,they,however,give sleepless nights to many. There is little or no check on this menace for we do not need any kind of clearance or permission to install a genset in homes. So who is bothered about the neighbors who have to spend sleepless night as the genset installed next door gurgles loudly through the night or the smoke flows into your bedroom through the windows which you just opened for fresh air.
B S Baath,chief engineer,Punjab State Electricity Board,said,One does not need any kind of clearance for installing a genset at his or her residence. As long as the genset in confined within the four walls of the home even the Municipal Corporation can do nothing about it.
But then here is a catch. The Punjab Pollution Control Board has the power to check the menace. S P Garg,Environmental Engineer,PPCB,said,In case a person faces problem,he or she can lodge a complaint with the Deputy Commissioner. The complaint is then sent to us and we raid the place. If the genset has a noise level above 55 decibels and emits smoke,we can seal it.
In such a scenario,people like Malika Singh,a resident of Civil Lines,says,The genset installed by my neighbour starts the moment there is a powercut. They probably have an automatic switch on and off system. Even if we have a powercut in the middle of the night,when we do not need lights,the genset starts off.
Sandeep Singla,a yarn trader,added,There is no agency to keep a tab on number of generators in the city. There are so many facilities available that can be used to check the noise and smoke emanated by these gensets but people seldom use them. The moment the power goes off,our entire lane become one big industrial unit.
Commenting on the number of complaints that the PPCB handles,Garg said,We do get a fair number of complaints.