The South Delhi Municipal Corporation is “fighting a war against pollution without guns” — the standing committee observed — after it was informed that there is a shortage of drivers leading to several vehicles being halted for months.
There is a shortage of over 40 drivers for vehicles like water tankers, jetting machines, garbage picking vehicles and mechanical diggers, said standing committee chairperson B K Oberoi. The number of these vehicles is around 150.
The issue was brought up during the standing committee meeting of the South MCD Tuesday by BJP councillor Poonam Bhati, who said that the corporation is facing a shortage of drivers. “Twenty vehicles remain stationed in offices of SDMC in Amar Colony, Lajpat Nagar and other areas,” said Bhati.
This situation led to Oberoi pulling up officials, saying, “Now there will be a rise in pollution, how are you prepared, you all know that you do not have drivers, you are fighting a war without guns.”
Later, he said that the civic body is somehow managing with its current strength but a lack of funds is also coming in the way of hiring more manpower. “Many people retired, some passed away but there was no hiring,” he said.
The air quality in Delhi worsens during the month of October and November due to the effect of stubble burning combined with vehicular pollution and other external factors.
The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Researching (SAFAR) has said that the impact of farm fires on Delhi’s air quality is likely to increase from October 27 due to the favourable speed and direction of winds from Punjab and Haryana and slim chances of rainfall.
While Delhi has enjoyed a relatively cleaner pre-winter period (September 1-October 15) this year as compared to previous years, as per an analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment, experts attributed this to the extended rainfall as well as the delayed paddy harvest in Punjab and Haryana. With paddy stubble burning expected to rise in the next few days, pollution levels are also expected to go up.
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