Pollution hot spots on major roads under the scannerUpdated: Oct 21, 2020, 22:53 IST
The Gurugram administration has identified 18 spots on major city roads across the city, which witness high vehicular pollution, and asked the personnel of traffic police and other departments concerned to take measures to manage the situation. Officials said the reason for high pollution at these spots is that heavy traffic movement and congestion is witnessed on these spots as these are located on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, Sohna Road, Delhi-Jaipur highway and important sector roads.
Following the directions issued by the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (Epca), the district administration sent a letter to the traffic police last week, asking for a reduction of jams at these spots, more enforcement and increased presence of police personnel so that road congestion is cleared quickly.
The 18 points include the Delhi-Gurugram border near Ambience Island, Iffco Chowk, Subash Chowk, Hero Honda Chowk, Umang Bhardwaj Chowk, Sohna Chowk, Kherki Daula toll plaza, Dwarka Expressway, Huda City Centre, Hamilton Court in DLF-4, Pataudi Road crossing on Dwarka Expressway, Rampura Flyover underpass and Bilaspur Chowk.
The directions issued by the deputy commissioner, Gurugram, to curb pollution calls for stringent enforcement of pollution rules and checks on pollution certificates, wrong parking offences, ferrying of dangerous goods, validity of all vehicle-related certificates and impounding vehicles that are old and not allowed to operate under current pollution norms.
The traffic police department said that following the directions of Epca and with measures under the Graded Action Response Plan (Grap) coming into force in the city, they have increased police presence at these pollution and traffic hot spots. Between October 15 and October 20, the police also issued 71 pollution-related penalties and 578 for wrong parking offence, said traffic officials.
The main objective of their drive, said DK Bharadwaj, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), was to reduce congestion and ensure traffic movement remained smooth. “We have also increased the presence of traffic police personnel at these 18 pollution hot spots and the enforcement has been made strict. We are also conducting awareness among the vehicle owners to follow traffic rules,” said Bhardwaj.
Bhardwaj said that they are keeping a watch on the traffic situation through CCTV cameras in real time, and action is taken immediately when congestion is reported at any spot. “No movement of vehicles which are beyond their life is being allowed,” he said, adding that they are working in tandem to curb vehicular and dust pollution on roads.
The traffic police is also sharing the action taken report, on a daily basis, with the Haryana State Pollution Control Board, said officials.
As per the details shared by traffic police, the department has issued 681 penalties for pollution-related offences till the end of September, 18,543 for wrong parking, 24 for overloading and 1,238 to owners of vehicles whose road worthiness certificates were expired.
The National Highways Authority of India, which has Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, Dwarka Expressway and Sohna Road, under its jurisdiction, said that it has deployed water tankers to sprinkle water so that dust pollution can be reduced. “Water is being sprinkled at project sites and construction material is covered with green cloth to check dust,” said Shashi Bhushan, project director, Gurugram.
To curb pollution at these congested stretches, transport experts say that apart from these measures, authorities should also look at staggering the timing for employees working from offices. Markets and commercial offices should be allowed to open on different days so that people making trips to the markets and offices are reduced.
“The movement of vehicles should be allowed more in the day and less during evening hours so that pollutants can settle. The odd-even formula for vehicles and no private vehicle days should be observed barring emergency situations,” said Professor Sewa Ram, a transport expert with the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi.
Sewa Ram also said that more enforcement will help in reducing congestion and it would reduce idling time, which causes more pollution.