Ghaziabad: Five labourers, engaged in burning coal tar drums to melt their contents, were arrested on charges of disturbing peace after residents of housing societies in Raj Nagar Extension complained of air pollution in the early hours of Sunday.

Thick black acrid smoke enveloped the area around 1 am on Sunday. Residents from nearly half a dozen housing societies rushed out, fearing fire in their apartments.

“The stench from the smoke was unbearable. We soon realized that the smoke was emanating from fires on a vacant plot near Meerut Road. When we reached there, we saw several workers burning coal tar drums to melt their contents. We didn’t have any idea who employed the labourers to burn the drums,” said Vikrant Sharma, an environmental activist who lives in Raj Nagar Extension. Read more