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Sixteen out of 65 pollution hot spots in Delhi fixed: Govt

Jan 07, 2024 05:32 AM IST

Around 25% of major pollution sources in Delhi's hot spots have been fixed this winter, with 43 others being monitored to prevent local pollution. A total of 49% of minor pollution sources have also been fixed. Each source has been uploaded to the government's app, "Green Delhi," and assigned to a department or agency for resolution. The aim is to fix all major sources by the end of winter. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee identified 13 pollution hot spots in 2018 based on annual PM 2.5 concentrations. Progress will be analyzed after February.

Delhi’s environment department has said 16 or around 25% of the 65 “major” sources of local pollution identified at Delhi’s 13 pollution hot spots have so far been fixed this winter, with 43 other sources being “constantly monitored” to prevent local pollution. In a review meeting held with other Delhi government departments and agencies on January 3, the environment department has reviewed the progress made so far, and set a target to fix all local major sources by the end of winter.

An anti-smog gun sprays water in an attempt to reduce dust pollution in Anand Vihar in Delhi on Saturday. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)
An anti-smog gun sprays water in an attempt to reduce dust pollution in Anand Vihar in Delhi on Saturday. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

The review also revealed that a total of 4,555 “minor” dispersed sources of pollution were identified by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) ahead of the winter, out of which 2,251 or around 49% has so far been fixed. The minor sources identified include potholes, garbage dumped in the open and openly dumped debris, officials aware of the matter said on Saturday.

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An environment department official said all sources have been uploaded on Delhi government’s app, “Green Delhi”, with each being assigned a department or agency under whose jurisdiction it comes.

“Each source is now being tracked through the app and the government department or agency has to fix the problem and submit a resolution on the app. This also provides live tracking of the progress made,” said the official, stating out of the 65 major sources, all sources that could be fixed in a short-term manner, for instance unpaved roads, have been targeted and fixed.

“There are also other sources such as construction sites or industries, which cannot be fixed this winter and can only be constantly monitored to ensure there is no pollution for the remaining winter months,” the official added.

In 2018, DPCC and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) identified 13 pollution hot spots in Delhi, based on the annual PM 2.5 concentration of these locations that were higher than Delhi’s mean PM 2.5. This includes Anand Vihar, Mundka, Wazirpur, Jahangirpuri, RK Puram, Rohini, Punjabi Bagh, Okhla, Bawana, Vivek Vihar, Narela, Ashok Vihar and Dwarka.

Data showed at Anand Vihar, six out of the 12 sources have been resolved, which included deployment of traffic police personnel to fix congestion and repair unpaved roads. Another five sources were being “constantly monitored” and one was still pending. In Narela, which has seven major sources, the next highest, only one got fixed — an open waste burning site where garbage is no longer being burnt. The other five sources are being “constantly monitored”, which included two NHAI projects and the nearby Narela and Bhorgarh industrial areas.

A DPCC official said for each hot spot, nodal officers were also been assigned to ensure 24x7 surveillance, with progress made this winter at the hot spots to be analysed after February. “Annually, we are comparing data each and there has been around 20% reduction in the PM 2.5 levels at these hot spots since 2019,” the official said.

At Jahangirpuri, another highly polluted hot spot, the sources included an ongoing construction to build a skill centre, pollution from the DTC bus terminal and burning of waste at jhuggi clusters. For Rohini, the local sources include two under-construction cycle track projects and the Rohini Sector 16 bus depot among others.

Dipankar Saha, former head of CPCB’s air laboratory, said to bring down the overall pollution load of Delhi, it was important to ensure a gradual improvement in the pollution levels at these 13 locations. “These spots were identified because they were more polluted than other locations in Delhi. If we bring down the pollution here, Delhi’s overall average too comes down. It also reduces the impact such local sources have on surrounding locals,” Saha said.

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