New Delhi: The Delhi government on Tuesday said roads in the capital will be vacuum cleaned every week to check dust and air pollution – which has increased post Diwali as toxic matter was released due to setting off of firecrackers.
“Vacuum cleaning of roads will be brought back in Delhi,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said after a meeting of concerned departments on pollution levels in the city.
He said all roads falling under the Delhi government’s Public Works Department (PWD) would be cleaned through water sprinklers.
This, he told the media, would bring down the dust, a major contributor to pollution.
The vacuum cleaning would start in two weeks and it would be a weekly affair.
Sisodia called for new ideas to curb pollution which has touched serious levels. “Measures are to be taken to control the fuel wastage and pollution which is caused due to auto drivers keeping ignition on,” he said.
“Delhi government along with Municipal Corporation of Delhi will work towards putting chimneys in Delhi’s crematoriums which will help in reducing some pollution.
“Sustenance of already existing anti-pollution plans and creation of new ideas is much needed,” he said.
He announced that people would now be “able to complain through a mobile application in case of pollution around construction sites”.
The government also said it was working on “actionable” subjects to control pollution levels in the city.
As per the data released by the Delhi government on Monday, the carbon monoxide (CO) levels in air on Diwali ranged from 2.0 mg/m3 to 4.2 mg/m3 (microgram/cubic metre) in comparison with 1.1 mg/m3 to 4.0 mg/m3 during last year’s Diwali.
Particulate Matter 10 or PM10 levels ranged from 448 µg/m3 to 939 µg/m3, a steep increase from last Diwali’s 296 µg/m3 to 778µg/m3.
PM 10 is called so because of its diameter which is 10 micrometre or less. To put it in perspective, a human hair is 100 micrometre wide.
Another harmful pollutant, PM 2.5, ranged from 180 µg/m3 to 440 µg/m3. These are fine particles which emanate from automobiles, burning of wood and construction material. They are responsible for making the atmosphere hazy marked by low visibility.
Health Minister Satyendar Jain told the media that the Aam Aadmi Party government was concerned over the increasing levels of air pollution.
He said Diwali and burning paddy fields in Punjab and Haryana had contributed to the pollution levels in the capital.
“It is a combined effect in Delhi of the fires burning in Haryana and Punjab,” the minister said.