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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Haryana anti-pollution body to use ‘dust suppressant’ chemicals to reduce particulate pollution in Gurugram

cities Updated: Sep 30, 2019 23:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Gurugram: The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) will, this year, begin deploying “dust suppressant” chemicals for the first time in its efforts to curb air pollution in the state’s NCR districts. Officials said they are doing so after instructions from the Central Pollution Control Board(CPCB), which has decided to scale up the use of dust suppressants after a study by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute(NEERI) found them to be more effective at preventing dust pollution than simply sprinkling water.

An advisory to this effect was issued by the CPCB to HSPCB on September 24. “A study was awarded by CPCB on the use of dust suppressants and its effectiveness was studied for control of dust generation at certain roads and construction sites. Findings of the study indicate... about 30% reduction in dust concentration (PM10, PM2.5 and PM1.0), observed up to 6 hours for construction sites as well as roads[sic],” the advisory read.

S Narayanan, member secretary, HSPCB, said that such suppressants would be sprayed in areas sensitive to dust pollution, such as arterial roads, construction sites, footpaths and construction and demolition waste stockpiles. “We have issued directions to regional officers in NCR districts accordingly,” he said.

In Gurugram, the HSPCB is expected to convey further instructions to both the Municipal Corporation (MCG) and the Gurugram Municipal Development Authority(GMDA), which have been tasked with implementing staple Grap measures, such as water sprinkling and mechanised road sweeping.

Experts, on the other hand, said that typical dust suppressants may be a health hazard, and should be used only sparingly. “Titanium oxide and silver oxide are two of the usual dust suppression chemicals that are used, but their secondary reactions will lead to creation of ozone in the atmosphere which is itself another pollutant. The CPCB and HSPCB should state what material they plan to use in this case,” said Sachin Panwar, a city-based air quality expert.

While neither the CPCB advisory nor Narayanan were able to specify the nature of substance which will be used, the advisory mentioned, “The dust suppressant should not cause any hazard to public health and the environment.” 

First Published: Sep 30, 2019 23:41 IST

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