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Vacuum cleaners to take dust off highways

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said the highways passing through high-density areas like Delhi will be vacuumed to begin with. It will be done at least once in a month.

Mail Today Bureau | February 19, 2016 | Updated 07:55 IST
Vacuum cleaners to take dust off highways
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said the highways passing through high-density areas like Delhi will be vacuumed to begin with. It will be done at least once in a month. (Photo: Reuters)

Now major national highways could be vacuum-cleaned to prevent dust pollution. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari announced this major step on Thursday, explaining those highways passing through high-density areas like Delhi will be vacuumed to begin with. It will be done at least once in a month.

Road dust is a major air pollutant and health hazard. The tiny silica in it, scientifically termed Particulate Matter 10 lodges in the upper part of the respiratory system to aggravate asthma and other breathing problems. The Delhi government's environment department also, recently, conducted a survey to identify spots in Delhi with worst road pollution in areas like Badarpur, Narela and Punjabi Bagh.

Environment Secretary Ashwani Kumar told Mail Today, "It mostly arises from construction work and also the malba dumped at road sides." On Thursday, Gadkari said, "Curbing pollution is our commitment and we are planning to vacuum clean all major national highways in high-density areas like Delhi."

He said a high-level meeting in this regard was on the anvil. "For Delhi, I want to work seriously," the minister said adding the cost and other modalities on this initiative will be worked out soon. Once implemented it will be a major step as to curb pollution. To check pollution, the government has already announced introducing BS-VI emission norms by 2020.

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