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Identify 10 most dusty road stretches and fix them: EPCA to Delhi-NCR states

An IIT Kanpur study on Delhi’s air pollution, considered the most comprehensive report on the issue to date, had identified road dust as the biggest source of suspended particulate matter in the city.

delhi Updated: Oct 23, 2017 00:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
dust pollution,delhi,delhi news
An IIT Kanpur study on Delhi’s air pollution, considered the most comprehensive report on the issue to date, had identified road dust as the biggest source of suspended particulate matter in the city.

Roads in Delhi-NCR, which are in a bad state and contribute to dust pollution, have come under the scanner of the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority.

The panel has asked the authorities in the region to prepare a list of such roads — around three each in Delhi, Noida, and Gurgaon for the time being.

An IIT Kanpur study on Delhi’s air pollution, considered the most comprehensive report on the issue to date, had identified road dust as the biggest source of suspended particulate matter in the city.

EPCA chairman Bhure Lal said after the identification of the “high-impact” roads, including National Highway-24, urgent dust control measures would be taken up as part of the larger action plan to contain pollution levels, which has nosedived after Diwali.

More roads are under the environmental body’s scanner and they will also be brought in the ambit of the action plan later, the EPCA said.

Officials of Delhi’s environment department and the pollution control boards of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh were directed to take the requisite for identification of the roads by coordinating with the agencies concerned, including the PWD and the NHAI.

According to the IIT report, road dust makes up over 50% of the total PM10 particles and about 38% of PM2.5 particles. PM2.5 and PM10 are the most dominant pollutants in Delhi’s air.

These ultrafine particulates, which can measure up to 30 times tinier than the width of a human hair, reach the bloodstream of a person through the respiratory system and pose serious health risks.

The IIT report had observed that the silt load on some Delhi roads is very high. Silt becomes airborne with the movement of vehicles, it said, estimating that PM10 emission from road dust was over 65 tonnes per day in Delhi.

“The potential control options can be sweeping and sprinkling water on the roads, better construction and maintenance, growing plants, grass, etc,” it said.

The Delhi government had announced grand plans of mechanically sweeping, greening and landscaping of the major arterial roads last year, but the project has not taken off and dusty bald patches on the central and side verges of roads remain.

First Published: Oct 23, 2017 00:09 IST