The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has been identifying pollution hotspots within Delhi-NCR to further intensify mitigating measures. CPCB officials Monday said that for each month, it draws up a quadrant to measure areas with high and low particulate matter — PM10 and PM2.5.
For instance, in February, for which data was made available, the CPCB’s analysis shows that areas such as Lodhi Road and Pusa Road saw lower concentrations of particulate matter. In comparison, areas such as Punjabi Bagh, Sonia Vihar, Narela, RK Puram and Patparganj showed elevated levels.
“The hotspots allow us to intensify mitigation measures in those specific areas. It also allows us to alert other agencies working in those areas,” said scientist V K Shukla, from the CPCB’s air quality management division.
The CPCB is also putting in place “new technologies”. Two years after Mumbai saw ‘vacuum cleaner-type’ units at traffic junctions that suck particulate matter and release fresh air, the CPCB will spend Rs 2.65 crore to install 54 similar units at some of Delhi’s busy traffic intersections.
According to officials, the ‘Wind Augmentation and Air Purifying Units (WAYU)’ will be placed at ITO, Anand Vihar, Wazirpur, Shadipur and Bhikaji Cama Place, in preparation for the winter months which usually sees deteriorating air quality each year.
WAYU is part of CPCB’s pilot studies of “new technologies” to mitigate air pollution in the capital, apart from filtration units costing Rs 20 lakh which will be placed in 30 buses in the city.
“We are also looking at putting in place dust suppressants for dust containment on roads and at construction sites,” said Shukla. Seventeen more projects have been given the go ahead under the EPC fund, he said.
CPCB member-secretary Prashant Gargava also said that specific measures have been put in place this year to tackle stubble burning, such as the custom-hire-centre in Punjab and Haryana for machines that will provide in-situ management of stubble. “The focus will be on more machines that will help minimise burning, remote sensing monitoring of where stubble is being burnt and more sensitisation and enforcement,” he said.