Hope in the air as GHMC to wage war on pollution
Following a direction by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to reduce air pollution in the city, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Commissioner Dana Kishore has laid down an action plan for officials concerned to implement the measures and cut down on pollution of the air in the city.
Hyderabad: Following a direction by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to reduce air pollution in the city, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Commissioner Dana Kishore has laid down an action plan for officials concerned to implement the measures and cut down on pollution of the air in the city.
The Tribunal says that all the States and Union Territories with non-attainment cities must prepare appropriate action plans aimed at bringing the standards of air quality within the prescribed norms within six months from date of finalisation of the action plans.
According to the GHMC, the action Plan of reducing air pollution in the city will indicate steps to be taken to check different sources of pollution having speedy, definite and specific timelines for execution.
The action plans will include components like identification of source and its apportionment, considering various sectors like vehicular pollution, industrial pollution, dust pollution, construction activities, garbage burning, agricultural pollution including pollution caused by burning of crop residue, residential and indoor pollution etc.
Vehicle Emission Control
The action plans of GHMC envisage restrictions on plying as well as phase-out of 15-year-old commercial diesel driven vehicles. Introducing of cleaner fuels like CNG and LPG for vehicles, retrofitting of particulate filters in diesel-driven vehicles, periodic calibration test of vehicular emission monitoring instrument are to be expedited.
Preparing plans to widen roads, construct expressways and underpasses and effect a marked improvement in the infrastructure for decongestion of roads, strengthening of public transport by increasing awareness on benefits of use of public transport available are other ways to make the city air less polluting.
GHMC is preparing a plan for creation of green buffers along traffic corridors, greening of open areas, gardens, community places, schools and housing societies. Introducing water fountains at major traffic intersections, maintaining pothole free roads for free-flow of traffic, blacktopping of roads including pavements of road shoulders, regular cleaning of the roads with mechanised sweepers and removing the silt from roads are also to be addressed quite earnestly.
Biomass & Garbage Burning
To control the emissions from biogas and garbage burning, GHMC is planning to launch extensive drives against open burning of municipal solid waste, biomass, plastic, horticulture waste etc. It also has decided to strictly implement the ban on burning of agriculture wastes, crop residues etc.
To control air pollution emanating from construction and demolition activities, GHMC intends transportation of construction materials like sand, soil, stone chips etc., in a covered system, as also restrictions on storage of construction materials along the road. Control measures for fugitive emissions from material handling, conveying and screening operations through water sprinkling, curtains, barriers and dust suppression units are also being devised.
Other steps to control air pollution are setting up and publicising a helpline in the city for complaints against non-compliance of its regulations. It is also considering effective ways to ensure use of cleaner fuels at eateries like hotels, restaurants and dhabas across the city.
The civic body is also pitching to take stringent actions to stop garbage burning in landfills and other open places by imposing heavy penalties on violators. Officials have been asked to stringently enforce all the pollution control regulations in respect of brick kilns and industries.
Periodic mechanised sweeping on the roads and water sprinkling on unpaved roads for every two days are also to be undertaken as part of the action plan. Dana Kishore says it is binding on all senior officials to stringently enforce the rules, crack down on violations and even consider closure of non-compliance units.