The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) will not introduce night sweeping - which believed to help reduce pollution levels - in the city.
The civic agency, which had started a pilot project, has said the plan has been unsuccessful and hence it would not be implemented it in the rest of the city.
“The pilot project in the Sadar Paharganj zone was started in June 2008 to see whether the plan was feasible or not. We are not satisfied with the outcome. We have a large number of women workers who are also not comfortable with the idea of working at night. Hence, the plan will not be extended to other parts,” said MCD commissioner K S Mehra.
According to the civic agency, night sweeping is more of a waste as shopkeepers who come in the morning clean their shops and throw garbage outside, which is again cleaned by the MCD.
“In our Indian tradition, most people don’t use the broom to sweep their shops at night as they believe it affects their business adversely. Hence, they clean their shops in the morning and if we stick with night sweeping, it leads to duplication of work,” said a senior MCD official.
Ravinder Raj, who had filed a public interest litigation in the Delhi High court asking the civic agency to start night sweeping, claims that the MCD has been cooking up stories to avoid carrying out night sweeping.
“Night sweeping is practised across all countries and in Indian cities too. Why can’t the MCD carry it out when several researches have stated that dust raised during sweeping leads to asthma, bronchitis. It affects people who commute in the morning,” said Raj.
The civic agency further said that adverse weather conditions, inadequate and non-functional streetlights, parking of vehicles on roads and steel gates put up in various colonies for security reasons are the other reasons that act as an obstacle for carrying out night sweeping.
The MCD had given an undertaking to the court in 2007 that within three months, night sweeping would be implemented across Delhi, a plan, which it has admitted, has failed.