New Delhi: Starting Friday, vacuum cleaning will start on the Capital’s roads along with green makeover for the bald patches in an attempt to fight the menace of dust.
According to a Delhi PWD official, four vacuum suction sweeper machines will become operational from today. “We will start the road cleaning with four machines initially. More machines will be brought in depending on the requirement. The bald patches on the city’s roads will be covered with greenery in the form of shrubs and trees and transformed into green spots to control pollution,” he said.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who inaugurated the Greening Delhi initiative at Green Triangle near Delhi Secretariat on Thursday, said these steps will help tackle road dust, which is one of the major sources of air pollution in the city.
“The PWD maintains around 1,260 km of roads in Delhi. These comprise of central verges, side verges and kuchcha portions under the flyovers. These bald patches will be made green to reduce pollution caused by road dust. From tomorrow, vacuum cleaning of the roads will also start. So, no dust will remain on the road,” said Kejriwal.
The chief minister also took to Twitter and said, “Congrats Delhi. Vacuum cleaning and greening of PWD roads begins. Greening will complete by October, vacuum cleaning on all roads in two months.”
The decision to take up these measures was taken in December 2015 as part of a slew of measures along with the odd-even road rationing policy to curb air pollution. The extensive horticulture cover has been planned to ensure that open areas that are prone to generating dust are made green and do not contribute to dust.
“One of the major causes of air pollution in the city is the fine suspended particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) because of road and construction dust. This dust gets multiplied manifold by the numerous vehicles running on the capital’s roads. Manual sweeping doesn’t help as the fine particles remain suspended on the surface,” a senior PWD official said.
Vacuum cleaning will remove even the finest of particles like PM10 and 2.5, he said.
Under the greening programme, around 120 acre of roadside areas will get pollution-absorbing trees and plants. These will include shrubs like thevetia nerefolia (Pila Kaner), nerium oleander (Lal Kaner), calliandra brevipes (powder puff) and bougainvilleas and trees like pilkhan, neem, pipa and arjun.
“This exercise will be completed within three months with an estimated expenditure of around R 2 crore. The next phase will start in July. To water the new green stretches and patches, only treated water from DJB plants will be used,” an official said.