NHAI to use three anti-smog guns to control dust pollution on NH-9
To combat the air pollution, caused mainly by ongoing construction work, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has decided to use three anti-smog guns at the under-construction sections of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway (DME). The officials said the three machines will be movable and will be deployed on phases 2 and 4.
On Wednesday, the city was the second most polluted city across the country with the Central Pollution Control Board recording an air quality index (AQI) of 323 (very poor), on a scale of 500, with 0 being the least polluted and 500 the most severe.
The NHAI is presently constructing the 19.2km long Phase 2, from UP Gate to Dasna, and the 32km long Phase 4 from Dasna to Meerut. Residents said the two stretches are highly polluted due to movement of construction vehicles and excavation work.
The Supreme Court had directed that anti-smog guns be used in Delhi-NCR at sites of projects that require environment clearance from the state/centre and which have a built-up area of more than 20,000 square metres, including excavation, material handling and other dust-generating activities.
According to officials, smog is formed by the accumulation of particulate matter present in the atmosphere and fine particles emitted through industrial units, vehicles and others similar sources. Such smog not only results in haze but also affects health.
The anti-smog gun is deployed in such conditions. It sprays atomised water so that dust and particles settle down. The droplets emitted by the anti-smog guns are ultra fine.
“The two stretches are major sources of air pollution. The air quality index of Ghaziabad is already high, especially the readings for particulate matter (PM)10 and PM2.5. Daily commuters bear the brunt of this pollution and also residents of nearby localities,” Ajay Yadav, a resident of Dasna, said.
The NHAI officials said they have already deployed 19 water tankers for phase 2 and another 34 for phase 4 in to control the dust.
Apart from these, the two stretches also have movement of about 700 construction vehicles.
“The tankers always keep moving and sprinkle water on dusty patches and areas where earth work is on. However, the measure seems insufficient. So we have purchased three anti-smog guns. These will be mounted on water tankers and will keep moving through the construction sites. The measure will help abet air pollution. One of the machines will arrive by February 28, while the other two will arrive by March 15,” RP Singh, project director of NHAI, said.