Govt to fix rules for disposing of road dust to curb air pollution in Delhi | delhi news | Hindustan Times
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Govt to fix rules for disposing of road dust to curb air pollution in Delhi

The city has more than a dozen mechanical sweepers which keeps the road free of dust. More such vehicles are being procured by both the civic bodies and the PWD. At present the dust collected is mostly taken to the landfill sites and dumped. When the wind blows these particles return to the city

delhi Updated: Jul 30, 2017 23:54 IST
Joydeep Thakur
Data from Central Pollution Control Board shows that after a lull of five years post 2010, the level of particulate matter in Delhi’s air has shot up. Microscopic particles, PM10 and PM2.5, are responsible for dangerous pulmonary and cardiac problems.
Data from Central Pollution Control Board shows that after a lull of five years post 2010, the level of particulate matter in Delhi’s air has shot up. Microscopic particles, PM10 and PM2.5, are responsible for dangerous pulmonary and cardiac problems.(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

The state environment department is drawing up a plan to properly dispose of tonnes of road dust that is collected by mechanical sweepers every day.

The city has more than a dozen mechanical sweepers which keeps the road free of dust. More such vehicles are being procured by both the civic bodies and the PWD.

“There is, however, no proper mechanism or standard operating procedure on how to dump the dust collected so that they don’t return to the city after disposal,” said a senior official of the state public works department.

Road dust is one of the major contributors to the particulate pollutants in Delhi’s air. The mechanical sweepers were introduced as manual sweeping by brooms blow more dust particles in air than it cleans off the ground.

Data from Central Pollution Control Board shows that after a lull of five years post 2010, the level of particulate matter in Delhi’s air has shot up. Microscopic particles, PM10 and PM2.5, are responsible for dangerous pulmonary and cardiac problems.

At present the dust collected is mostly taken to the landfill sites and dumped. When the wind blows these particles return to the city rendering the entire sweeping process ineffective.

“Even a light wind would be able to raise a dust storm if the dumped dust is not dampened with water or have a green cover over it. The plan that is being formulated have taken into consideration all these factors,” said an official of the state environment department.

Earlier in June, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal, during a meeting to review the status of measures taken by various agencies to combat air pollution in Delhi had directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to come up with a standard operating procedure to come up with a disposal plan.

“We have already drawn up a draft plan for the proper disposal of the road dust that is collected by the mechanical sweepers. The plan has been sent to the civic bodies and PWD for suggestions. Once we receive the suggestions we would finalise the plan,” said a senior officer of the state environment department.

While the New Delhi Municipal Council has five machines which are functional and are capable of cleaning major avenue roads of NDMC areas, the PWD has six machines. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation has recently procured six machines.

More such sweepers are expected to join the fleet as the PWD has floated a tender to purchase six more machines which are expected to be delivered by September, 2017. The two other MCDs also expect to get the first lost of mechanical sweepers very soon.