The Delhi government has launched a campaign to tackle dust pollution, a major contributor to air pollution during the summer season, according to Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai. Controlling dust pollution is an important step towards reducing air pollution and improving public health.
The government has taken several measures to combat the issue, including deploying mechanical road sweeping machines, water sprinklers, and mobile anti-smog guns. To further improve the situation, the government will procure integrated road sweeping machines and water sprinklers.
Dust particles can contribute to air pollution in several ways. Dust can reduce visibility leading to a haze or smog, which can reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the ground. Dust often contains harmful particles such as heavy metals and organic chemicals, which on entering the respiratory system can cause irritation, inflammation, and other health problems.
According to the Commission for Air Quality Management’s Graded Response Action Plan, the use of anti-smog guns is advised at construction sites when the Air Quality Index falls under Stage 1, which is classified as “poor” and ranges between 201-300. In the case of Stage II, which is considered “very poor” and falls between 301-400, the plan recommends the use of water sprinkling and dust suppressants in hotspots, heavy traffic areas, and vulnerable zones.
The government has also established patrolling teams to prevent open burning of garbage and waste dumping in industrial areas. In addition, the government will conduct real-time source apportionment studies at 13 air pollution hotspots using a mobile air lab at each location. Furthermore, construction sites larger than 500 square metres will be closely monitored to reduce dust pollution.