Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) is taking steps to effectively tackle dust pollution emanating from roads, right of way and open areas spread across the National Capital Region (NCR).
The approach is to strategically strengthen the dust mitigation measures with innovative solutions to curb the dust pollution sources. To this end, directions have been issued by CAQM to all road owning/ maintaining/ road construction agencies of the State Governments of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), Rajasthan, Haryana and GNCTD to set up Dust Control & Management Cells in their respective states.
The Cell will regularly monitor the compliance of road dust control measures by the authorities concerned and will also keep track of the progress of measures undertaken. Apart from this, exhaustive reports prepared on a monthly basis by the cell will help in the fight against dust pollution more systematically.
CAQM has formulated a 10-point dust monitoring parameter in this regard.This parameter involves a variety of measures that needs to be strictly adopted by the Dust Control & Management Cells. These measures include:
• optimum utilization of road sweeping machines,
• scientific disposal of dust collected in designated sites/ landfills,
• water sprinkling to suppress dust especially after mechanized sweeping,
• augmentation of mechanized sweeping and sprinkling capacity,
• proper management of roads to ensure potholes-free roads,
• laying or repairing roads in a manner which extensively supports mechanized sweeping,
• conversion of non-paved roadsides into paved one or into a green area,
• greening of central verges,
• laying cemented roads over bituminous roads especially in industrial areas and,
• identification of hotspots of road dust and target-specific implementation of road dust control measures.
Following the directions of the Commission, various road owning/ maintenance agencies of State Governments of NCR and GNCTD have set up Dust Control & Management Cells. The state of Uttar Pradesh has set up 17 cells so far. Apart from this, 11 cells have been constituted by the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) and 8 cells by the Government of Rajasthan. Haryana has established 2 Dust Control & Management Cells and more are underway and being constituted.
Ramping up the capacity of Dust Control & Management Cells will not only provide a sustainable solution to the persistent problem of road dust pollution but will also help in re-aligning strategies to initiate timely preventive and corrective measures. Further, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the State Pollution Control Boards (PCB)/ Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and other agencies concerned shall continue to monitor the compliance and enforce the dust mitigation measures.