To help reduce pollution in the city and improve sanitation, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has decided to start night sweeping in busy markets and roads. The project will start next week.
The civic agency has selected 15 commercial stretches in six zones. These include Jama Masjid, Gaffar Market, Chandni Chowk, Ajmal Khan Road, Kamla Nagar, Model Town II, RG Complex (Prasant Vihar), Main Bazaar (Paharganj), Sadar Bazar, Alipur and Narela.
“The deputy commissioners of six zones have shared detailed plans. We have decided to engage at least six staff on each road for night sweeping. When all vehicles parked on roadsides/parking areas will be removed, it would become easier for us to clean the roads properly,” said PK Gupta, commissioner, North Corporation.
The civic agency has also decided to arrange sweeping and lifting of garbage from busy markets in morning as well.
“It has been observed that the shopkeepers clean their shops and then throw garbage outside in the morning. Most of them believe that sweeping shops at night will affect their business adversely,” said a senior North Corporation official.
The official said the corporation will urge the shopkeepers that they should either clean their shops in the night or throw the waste in the morning at the designated spots.
The decision has been taken on the suggestions of National Green Tribunal and Delhi Pollution Control Committee. It was observed that sweeping of the roads in the morning causes dust pollution and affects school children, morning walkers and office-goers.
The commissioner has also instructed the sanitation staff to plant trees and grass at open land sites belonging to the municipal body.
Traders, however, are not impressed. In February, 2010, the MCD had filed an affidavit in the Delhi High Court that night sweeping was being done in 46 areas.
“However, night sweeping was not taken up enthusiastically and lost steam soon,” said Sanjay Bhargava, general secretary of the Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal.
Officials said women workers were not comfortable with the idea of working at night. Moreover, they don’t have funds to hire male staff for night sweeping. Hence, the idea was dropped.
Currently, only New Delhi Municipal Council cleans roads in the night.