Ward-wise teams set up to combat pollution: East Delhi mayor

PTI New Delhi | Updated on October 16, 2021

The air quality of the city was in the ‘poor’ category on Saturday morning with an air quality index (AQI) of 244

Ward-wise teams of officials drawn from various departments of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation have been set up to ensure compliance of norms for combating pollution, with a special focus on the hotspot area of Anand Vihar, its mayor Shyam Sunder Aggarwal said on Saturday.

A total of 64 teams have been constituted, including members from Works Department, Department of Environment Management Services (DEMS) and Horticulture Department among others, he said.

“These teams, set up about a week ago, do regular inspections and take actions accordingly. The Works Department is imposing challans on violators and these special teams will try to ensure compliance of norms for combating pollution,” said Aggarwal.

Violations include not putting up curtains at construction or demolition sites leading to dust pollution, and burning of leaves and garbage or other kinds of waste.

Deteriorating air quality

The air quality of the city was in the ‘poor’ category on Saturday morning with an air quality index (AQI) of 244, real-time data of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) showed.

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.

Air quality in the national capital was recorded in the ‘moderate’ category on Thursday but was expected to deteriorate over the next two days with a rise in farm fire incidents in Punjab and Haryana.

There are two zones — Shahdara (North) and Shahdara (South) — under the jurisdiction of the EDMC, spanning 64 wards.

Pollution hotspots

The city has several air pollution hotspots, including the Anand Vihar area in east Delhi, which is also a major transport hub with an ISBT, train station and a metro station.

The streets leading to this hub often get congested during peak hours of road traffic, leading to worsening of air quality index due to vehicular emissions.

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East Delhi Mayor Aggarwal said the teams will lay a “special focus on hotspot area of Anand Vihar” where the pollution level is generally higher.

“Our teams will keep a vigilant eye on the hotspot and alert EDMC authorities for appropriate actions so that pollution level can be checked. Besides, the aim is to also reduce dust generation or sedimentation, so Horticulture Department will ensure regular cleaning of trees and shrubs too,” he said.

Cleaning activities

The mayor claimed that 40 machines, equipped with sprinklers, are deployed across east Delhi during morning and evening for cleaning purposes.

In the Anand Vihar area, the frequency of carrying out cleaning activities is “higher, as it’s a hotspot area”, he added.

“Our Works Department has been imposing challans on violators, in pursuance of the directives of the NGT (National Green Tribunal), and it will continue to do so,” Aggrawal said.

Designated waste processing plant

With a view to curb pollution, the EDMC early this month had also issued an order whereby construction and demolition waste generated at sites of construction or renovation of buildings will have to be disposed at a designated waste processing plant only.

Aggarwal had then said that earlier 68 designated points were earmarked in the city for depositing C&D waste.

“But, as per this new executive order, the owners or builders undertaking work related to construction or renovation at sites will have to dispose construction and demolition waste only at Shastri Park C&D waste processing plant,” he said.

And owners or builders will have to ferry the waste to the processing plant at their own cost, the mayor said.

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Violation of this order will invite “appropriate action” and “building plan may also be cancelled,” the EDMC had said.

Dust generated from construction and demolition sites is one of the major causes of air pollution.

To combat air pollution in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had recently announced a 10-point “winter action plan” that focuses on dust control, usage of the Pusa bio-decomposer, installation of smog towers and checking of waste burning and vehicular emissions.

Published on October 16, 2021

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