SDMC to seek Cen­tre’s help to tackle dust pol­lu­tion

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - [email protected] times­group.com

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.

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