In time for the winter, which sees a dip in air quality in the capital, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has lined up a slew of measures to tackle dust pollution, which will see the launch of three pilot projects — installation of filters on top of buses, use of dust separation chemical sprays and installing equipment that will suck in particulate matter. The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) will run the pilot project on installing equipment to suck in particulate matters.
“The Environment Ministry will undertake these projects in association with the Delhi government,” said an MoEF official on Thursday. Compared to last year that saw 56 good air days between January and June, this year, the national capital has seen 65 such days. This, officials said, is not a significant measure, but plans are afoot to put the measures in place by the end of September.
The MoEF official said that more mechanical sweepers will be used in the capital — Delhi will have 74 by September. “If we can depute 74, even if the operation is not the best, we will still have good results. By September, 262 pillars of the Delhi Metro network will have hanging gardens. They will not only beautify, but also absorb dust. Currently, there are around 60 such pillars which have such gardens,” the official said.
“We will finalise it and send it to the states, who will then make their own plan. This is a scheme. It will be done by the end of the month,” the official said. In the case of water sprinkling, there are around 175 tankers, and 40 more will be procured by September, the official said, adding that there is a plan to procure 185 more water tankers. The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), which was drawn up by the MoEF, is likely to be finalised by the end of this month, and sent to states so that they can make plans to curb air pollution.
“First we have to assess which state has the capacity to reduce how much pollution. If we keep a uniform target and one of the states does not have the resources, it will not serve the purpose.”
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