New Delhi: Delhi Cabinet had recently approved a proposal to carry out vacuum cleaning of roads, aimed at bringing down the level of dust kicked up during sanitation routines that contribute a lot to air pollution, especially during the summers.
Vacuum cleaning is expected to kick in from April. The decision, part of a series of measures announced by the government along with the odd-even car rationing formula, was approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday authorising the Public Works Department to switch to the advanced method of cleaning.
At present, roads in the city are manually sweeped which adds to rising levels of air pollution, since fine particles are kicked up during sweeping and remained suspended on the surface thereafter.
"The dust gathered on roads due to improper or non- cleaning of roads is compounded further by lakhs of vehicles running on Delhi roads," the government said.
"In view of the existing situation, the cabinet approved the proposal authorising PWD to carry out mechanised sweeping of PWD roads to begin with, and introduce Mechanised Stack Parking System on PWD roads. The expenditure for this work shall be borne under the capital head of Roads and Bridges," it said.
An IIT-Kanpur study has identified trucks and road dust as the major polluters of Delhi's air quality with the former contributing up to 38 per cent of PM 2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 microns).
During winter, vehicles contribute up to 25 per cent of PM 2.5 emissions, while 26 per cent comes from biomass burning.
During summer, coal and flyash contribute to 26 per cent of PM 2.5, soil and road dust 27 per cent, biomass burning 12 per cent, while vehicles contribute 9 per cent as per the report.