The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) is set to hold a meeting on Tuesday on the issue of road dust as a major contributing factor to pollution in the city, with key emphasis on three areas —Anand Vihar, Ghaziabad and Bhiwadi.
The Supreme Court-mandated EPCA has very strongly demanded that authorities in the Delhi-NCR “identify the three most notorious roads each, implement dust control measures and report to the EPCA”.
Bhure Lal, Chairman, EPCA, told The Indian Express, “It is common sense…road dust becomes a part of the environment, and becomes lethal when it combines with other polluting particles that vehicles on the roads emit”.
Lal added that the authorities have time till March 15, 2018, to implement and report the developments in this matter. The move comes at a time when pollution levels in the city spun out of control post-Diwali.
Officials of Delhi’s environment department and the pollution control boards of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh were directed to take the requisite steps towards identifying the roads by coordinating with the agencies concerned, including the PWD and NHAI.
“Officials from various agencies have been attending the meetings on this… we have spoken to the NDMC chairman and the Delhi Metro as well. Whether it’s roads under construction or buildings under construction or raw material for construction being transported without being covered…they all contribute to air pollution. Authorities should zero in on at least three roads each in Delhi-NCR, and then take up more with time,” said Lal.
Last year, the Delhi government had announced plans of mechanical sweeping, greening and landscaping of roads in the city. However, Lal said, “I think they planted hedges or some bushes on Max Mueller road…they should do that on more roads. If not this, at least sprinkle water so that the dust settles. Apart from directing authorities to work on controlling road dust, we will also do our own checks. The municipal corporations have also been asked to set up teams for this purpose.”
Responding to this move, a senior state government official said, “The government is actively taking steps to bring down air pollution. The agencies (PWD, MCD) have mechanised sweeping machines and work on the same has begun.”