The city of Faridabad is believed to have been founded in the year 1607 by the renowned Sufi saint Baba Farid. A prominent center in the Mughal Empire, the city later went on to become a Pakistani Refugee Resettlement Centre in the days following the partition of India. Faridabad is currently the largest city in the state of Haryana - a teaming industrial town that attracts more and more settlers each day.
At a distance of less than 50 kilometers from the capital of India, Delhi, and at about 40 kilometers from the highly urbanised cyber hub, Gurgaon, Faridabad has been the natural choice for entrepreneurs and industrialists who want to set up factories, stores, and workshops in the region but avoid the skyrocketing costs of these two cities. The abundance of skilled and unskilled labour, the natural resources of Haryana, and the excellent roads that connect Faridabad with Delhi and Gurgaon have been the major reasons for the phenomenal industrial growth and the consequent population explosion of the city. Such development has, however, brought with it its own share of woes. Added on by a negligent state administration, it may not be incorrect to say that the city is suffering from the after effects of industrialisation.
One of the major concerns faced by the people of Faridabad city is air pollution. The chimneys of factories in and around the city have been spewing sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide for almost a decade now. These gases are known to cause various diseases of the skin and lungs and damage the nervous system, the respiratory system and the immune system. The drastic increase in pollution levels was initially noticed in 2003-04 but surprisingly the state administration has done nothing to check the menace or to regulate the growth of these factories. Health department officials had warned as far back as 2003 that if adequate measures were not adopted to curb air pollution, each and every resident of Faridabad is likely to fall sick. Despite the warning, in 2013 it was reported that in Faridabad particulate matter in the air was up to three times higher than the national air quality standard.
In 2011, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reported that industries and poor waste management system of Faridabad was one of the major causes of pollution in the Yamuna River. The Yamuna is the main source of drinking water for Faridabad and many other cities and it ultimately drains into the Ganges. As of 2011, the city generated about 200 million liters sewage each day (MLD), but had a capacity to treat only 115 MLD. The untreated 96 MLD sewage was discharged into the Yamuna causing untold damage to the river, the fishes in it, and polluting the natural environment and the settlers in the banks.
Most of the residents of Faridabad city have expressed dissatisfaction with the city's garbage disposal system. Littering and unhygienic streets is a common sight now and the outbreak of diseases imminent. In 2013, the only garbage disposal plant catering to the city and Gurgaon was shut down due to a fire leading to a major pile up of garbage in the city. The time is right for various diseases and epidemics to break out in the city unless the government takes adequate steps to improve the quality of life in Faridabad City.
Naya Haryana is our dream a vision of a prosperous state. It is however, only when the state achieves a balance between the growth of industries and the protection of the environment from pollution that a healthy life can be secured for the citizens.