SDMC to seek Centre’s help to tackle dust pollution
New Delhi: Arguing that it is being starved for funds by Delhi government to carry out its basic obligatory duties, South Delhi Municipal Corporation has approached the Union government for resources from the Urban Development Fund for pollution control.
While the overall proposal sought Rs 300 crore, the civic body reserved a large chunk for repairing roads and footpaths. The proposal argued that a large number of inner colony roads need urgent repair as they contribute to dust pollution.
SDMC asked for Rs 68.2 crore to repair around 460km of roads. An additional Rs 15.2 crore was sought for paving and fixing of footpaths over an area of 1,44,899 sqm. Bhupender Gupta, the chairman of SDMC’s standing committee, said that the minister for housing and urban affairs agreed to the proposals last week.
A corporation official said these broken stretches need urgent repair as they are a constant source of PM2.5 and PM10 to the capital’s environment. “Earlier, we got funds for repairs by Delhi government but the funding completely stopped this year,” the official said.
The proposal to the urban development ministry cited a completion deadline of 12 months for the project, which includes basic civic work like maintenance of roads, parks, and footpaths among other services indirectly related to the environment.
Gupta said the civic body approached centre after reaching a critical financial situation. “We haven’t received funds amounting to Rs 1,200 crore from Delhi government and the deficit has to be met from somewhere. The government should understand that pollution from inner colony roads does not differ from PWD roads,” he said.
The chairman added that SDMC has also asked for funds to procure patch repairing machines and vacuum cleaning machines for smaller streets.
Some of the most vulnerable stretches included in the proposal are Tughlaqabad, Shyam Nagar, Khyala, Vishnu Garden, Raghubir Nagar, Ranhola and Punjabi Bagh.