Speed Post News Network

New Delhi : Considering the large number of non-point dispersed sources contributing to air pollution in Delhi, a Project to control air pollution from dispersed sources will be implemented in Delhi with special focus during the coming winter season.

The Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM), with the support of an NGO, Air Pollution Action Group (A-PAG), had initiated a Pilot Project with the active help of South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) under its jurisdiction in the month of December, 2020, to abate air pollution from large number of non-point dispersed sources.

The progress of the Pilot Project by SDMC was reviewed by CAQM on September 22, 2021, and based on the learning and outcome of the project, NDMC, North DMC and East DMC, have expressed their interest in replicating the project under their respective jurisdictions.

Based on the learning from the Pilot, the Project is now being upscaled and replicated in North DMC, East DMC, and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) areas to control dispersed sources air pollution in the coming winter season. The Project envisages easy identification, allocation, and resolution of air pollution-related issues arising out of large number of non-point dispersed sources.

At the Review Meeting held by the Commission on  October 21, 2021, with Delhi Government Officials and Commissioners / Chairpersons of Municipal Corporations /New Delhi Municipal Council, it has been decided that the project will go live in North DMC, East DMC, and NDMC w.e.f. October 27, 2021, with improved inter-agency coordination among Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), Nodal Officers, and support from other agencies concerned.  Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has also been formulated for this purpose.

SUCCESS OF PILOT : Supported by a robust review and monitoring programme, the Pilot Project was successful in identifying about 17,290 issues in 104 wards of South DMC of which 10,900 (63%) of the issues pertain to the SDMC and the rest 6,400 (37%) issues have been assigned to other agencies. Under this pilot project, SDMC has successfully resolved 95% of the issues pertaining to its own jurisdiction.

The project inter-alia focused mainly on the following steps:

  • Sensitisation Exercise to help ground-level officials understand the linkages between their daily tasks and the quality of air
  • 3rdParty Survey to identify issues that contribute to spike in air pollution levels
  • Allocation of issues identified and further tag them to the agencies concerned
  • Ground-level reporting of resolution of the issues by the authorities concerned
  • Enhancement of SmartCity 311 App to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the complaint redressal process and
  • Review Process to follow through on-ground survey procedure and ensure high standards while resolving the issues.

The major pollution sources addressed under this pilot project are: garbage dump sites, overflowing dhalaos, burning of garbage, construction and demolition sites, debris dumped on public land, road dust from unpaved roads, barren lands, industrial emissions, vehicular pollution etc.

Viewing the need for technological advancement as the most crucial step towards transforming the whole complaint redressal process, SDMC with technological support of A-PAG brought enhancements to the SDMC’s 311 Live Dashboard and upgraded it into an advanced ‘SmartCity 311 App’ for efficient and effective monitoring of dispersed sources of air pollution.

With the introduction of this advanced App, issues can be conveniently raised with a single tap. The ‘SmartCity 311 App’ carries a number of enhanced features like a simplified transfer protocol to reassign issues to other agencies, validation check to mark resolution, updated reporting formats for easier monitoring, feature to track progress on long term issues, and features to ensure officials are present at the issue site while uploading the resolution proof, have been introduced.

Citizen participation is an important aspect of collection of information from different sources in real-time. This not only strengthens the process of citizen-led issue identification but also expands the reachability of the system. Apart from on-ground 3rd party surveys, the SmartCity 311 App will also allow and encourage the citizens to raise complaints and help the municipal bodies in taking necessary steps to redress the issues concerned, according to a PIB release. As per reports received by the Commission, the Air Pollution module is now live on the citizen app in SDMC & EDMC.