Over 7 million litres of water sprayed in pollution hot spots: Delhi Fire dept

New Delhi: With the rise in pollution levels in the national capital, the Delhi Fire Services (DFS) said it has sprayed around seven million litres of water, to suppress dust and other pollutants, over the past one month. The fire department sprays water at 13 hot spots in the city every morning and evening.

Atul Garg, director, Delhi Fire Services (DFS) said the special drive was started on October 17. There are 13 hot spots identified in the city, where pollution levels are at their highest, including Okhla, Vivek Vihar, Punjabi Bagh, Rohini, Dwarka and industrial areas.

“The spraying is done every morning for two hours and for about an hour-and-a-half every evening. Fifteen fire tenders are used every day and around 200,000 litres of water is sprayed every day. This helps settle dust in the air and clean the trees,” Garg said.

He said the department will continue the practice until pollution levels subside.

A 2019 analysis of Delhi’s pollution sources done by Council on Energy, Environment and Water showed that vehicular emissions contributes to 39.2% of PM 2.5 (ultrafine particulate matter with diameter less than 2.5 micrometres) levels in the city. Dust from roadsides is a close second, and contributes 37.8%. In PM 10 levels (particulate matter with diameter less than 10 micrometres), the contribution of road dust goes up to 65.9%, while construction activities contribute 21%.

The Delhi government, as part of its anti-pollution campaign this year has identified road dust as a primary contributor to local pollution.

Apart from directing construction agencies to ensure the installation of anti-smog guns, which spray water at construction sites, the government has also directed enforcement agencies such as the Public Works Department (PWD), the four municipalities of the city (north, south and east Delhi municipal corporations, and the New Delhi Municipal Council) to ensure regular water sprinkling.

Delhi environment minister, Gopal Rai said that going into winters, when the pollution levels are at its worst in the city, the aim would be to utilise all the resources to minimize the impact of polluting sources.

“All agencies will have to come together and fight pollution. In fact, not just the government agencies, people of Delhi will also have to join hands with the government in this fight against pollution,” Rai said.

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