New Delhi: Manual cleaning of road dust must be stopped immediately, the National Green Tribunal directed the Delhi government, asking it to introduce mechanical cleaning in the national capital.
The green panel said manual removal of dust from roads only regenerates pollution in the environment and police should ensure that wherever mechanised cleaning of dust is introduced, no vehicles should be parked on the roadside.
“The state government, public authorities and development agencies shall introduce vacuum cleaning machines for removal of dust and waste from the roads in a gradual manner. Cleaning of dust manually should be stopped.
“Mechanical cleaning of the roads should be introduced.
Manual cleaning of dust only helps in re-generation of pollution and does not effectively cause cleaning of roads or air either,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The tribunal noted there were seven major contributors of air pollution which include — construction activity and transportation of building material, burning of municipal solid waste, crop agriculture residue, vehicular pollution, dust on the roads, industrial and power house emissions including flyash and emissions from hot-mix plants and stone crushers.
The NGT had earlier noted that nearly three lakh litres of petrol is burnt by vehicles stuck in traffic snarls or red lights in the national capital every day.
Directing the traffic police and other authorities to ensure there is no congestion on the roads here, the bench had said any person who violates the directions of the tribunal on vehicular pollution should be strictly made liable for payment of environmental compensation.
The NGT had earlier passed a slew of directions including setting up centralised and state level monitoring committees to prepare action plans to combat pollution in a bid to tackle environment emergencies.
It had directed that whenever air pollution reached severe levels, Delhi and its four neighbouring states would have to take a set of emergency measures including sprinkling water from choppers, stopping construction activities and shutting down polluting power plants and gensets.