The Chennai Corporation will develop an action plan for reducing dust on roads.
It is planning to find ways to cope with air pollution caused by road cuts, ongoing Metro Rail work, inadequate sweeping of roads, garbage, and construction debris.
This is in accordance with a direction from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to the civic body and other agencies, such as Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, traffic police, Chennai Metrowater and the transport department, to take steps to control air pollution in the city.
After the commencement of a project by CPCB to set up continuous real-time air quality monitoring stations in Chennai and 15 other cities, for which action plan is being prepared by the State governments as per the orders of the Supreme Court, the Chennai Corporation has been trying to put in place a detailed plan for reducing dust on roads.
The Corporation is likely to focus on infrastructure renewal and technological intervention to tackle the problem of dust on roads.
“A number of motorists suffer from eye irritation and poor visibility because of air pollution. Many roads are dusty and vehicle movement causes dust particles to hover, along most stretches,” said R.B. Saravanan, who rides a motorcycle daily.
According to a recent report of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) on air quality, places such as Anna Nagar, Kilpauk and T. Nagar exceed the permissible limit of respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) of less than 10 micron size.
TNPCB’s annual reports also indicate a rise in pollution level on roads. RSPM levels have gone up in the past few years.
In areas such as Kathivakkam, the RSPM has been consistently above 300 microgram/cubic metre.
According to an official of the Corporation’s public health department, Wall Tax Road, Mint, T. Nagar and Chennai Central neighbourhoods have potential for causing high incidence of respiratory problems for motorists because of dust on roads.