BMC pours water on air pollution funds BMC pours water on air pollution funds

Civic agency falls back on its last year's promise of allocating money to control air pollution; officials say non-potable water will be used to wash city roads to reduce dust in atmosphere

Despite announcing that it would provides necessary funds and measures to curb the ever-increasing amount of dust particles released in the air, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) seems to have taken a U-turn. It has now decided not to allocate separate funds for the purpose.

Fatal release: Last year, doctors from across the city observed an
80% rise in the number of patients suffering from dust-related ailments,
especially children. File pic

Last year, after doctors from across the city reported a rise of 80 per cent in the number of children suffering from dust-related ailments, the civic body had decided to take measures to control air pollution.

Dr Pramod Niphadkar, asthma and allergy consultant, said, "There is a 30% to 40% rises in cases of people suffering from ailments related to particle matter in the city, and it includes mostly children. Since their respiratory tube is smaller in comparison to adults, the particle matter affects them even more. And it's mainly because of the innumerable construction sites in the city."

BMC's response
According to civic officials, BMC commissioner has made indirect provisions in the civic budget to counter the dust menace. "The non-potable water generated after treating sewage at Love Grove sewage pumping station, will be used for washing city roads, thereby reducing dust," said an official.

Apart from washing roads, the civic budget has an allocation of Rs 22.38 crore for planting trees and saplings in the city, which according to civic officials, will help in curbing air pollution. BMC's Standing Committee Chairperson Rahul Shewale said, "On a pilot basis, a stretch of road measuring 25 km will be washed to bring down dust and based on the result, water from other pumping stations will be used."

He further informed that letters have already been issued to several authorities, asking them take measures to bring down levels of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM). To achieve this target, the corporation has already begun delegating work to various departments and stakeholders, including MMRDA, MSRDC, MoEF and NEERI. Moreover, in case of violations, MPCB and the BMC will issue notices to the authorities concerned.

BMC's previous plan
>> Asking clean-up marshals not to clean roads abruptly, as it leads to an increase in dust particles
>> Monitor construction sites to control the amount of dust particles released into the atmosphere
>> Appoint committees in every ward to monitor air pollution and take measures to curb it
>> Increase the number of green zones

Did you know?
Major sources of air pollution are: 
>>  Dust on roads (30%)
>> Power plants (21%)
>> Construction and development activities (8.5%)
>>  Open burning of waste (11%) 
>>  Hotels, restaurants, bakeries and crematoriums (9%)

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