If the streets of Ahmedabad suddenly seem a lot less polluted and dusty, it’s all thanks to Project ENDURE (Ensuring Dust Reduction).
Aimed at minimizing dust pollution in the city — following a survey that attributed 42 per cent of the air pollution in the city to dust particles caused by unpaved road shoulders — ENDURE plans to pave 44 square lakh metres of unpaved road shoulders, thereby reducing dust pollution dramatically.
The pilot project of paving 88,000 square metres is already complete and has bagged the prestigious ‘Best Practices’ award judged jointly by UN-HABITAT and the Dubai Municipality.In a communication to the National Council of Civil Liberties (NCCL), the Dubai International Award authorities said the ‘Best Practices’ Award for Improving Living Environment was chosen from among 650 entries from across the world. The Rs 105-crore project is a joint venture of the NCCL and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) with liberal contributions from local corporate houses.
Project ENDURE — which was started in 2004 — involves paving 44 lakh square metres of unpaved road shoulders across the entire city with pre-cast cement concrete blocks, NCCL president V.K. Saxena told the Hindustan Times on Monday. As dust pollution affects mainly children and sick people, the pilot project gave priority to roads in front of educational institutions and hospitals, Saxena added.
Deputy Municipal Commissioner Captain Dilip Mahajan said the AMC would carry out the rest of the project as part of its ongoing footpath improvement work.
The project entails digging up six inches of top soil, watering the area, laying a two-inch layer of sand and then fixing 65-milimeter-thick pre-cast cement concrete blocks in an interlocking manner, NCCL sources said. As no cement is used to fill the gaps, rainwater can seep through the pavements and recharge the underground water table. That is an added bonus.