Special Correspondent

For its role in `Mission ENDURE'

  • Eco-friendly materials used in paving road shoulders across Ahmedabad
  • Project being replicated in Delhi and Rajkot

    AHMEDABAD: The National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), Ahmedabad, a non-government organisation working for improving the standard of living, has been given the Dubai International Award under the United Nations' Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT) for its initiative in connection with the "Mission ENDURE" project to reduce dust pollution in Ahmedabad city.

    The Mission ENDURE, (which stands for "ENsuring DUst REduction") project, being jointly implemented with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), is based on a simple but workable methodology of paving the road shoulders across the city with eco-friendly materials to remove dust assimilation and in turn preventing raising of dust by vehicles and pedestrians.

    Though the NCCL, which worked for two years to cover 88,000 sq.m., contributed to just about 5 per cent of the 40 lakh-odd square metre area in Ahmedabad city, it was selected for the award for its innovative idea and taking the initiative for the project.

    Share raised

    The AMC, which initially agreed to contribute only 25 per cent for the Mission ENDURE project to the NCCL, later raised its share to 50 per cent, realising the importance of the project and is now implementing the Rs. 105 crore project in the remaining part of the city with its own funding.

    "Best practices"

    The NCCL project was selected from amongst 650 submissions from about 140 countries for the "good and best practices" which could be replicated in other cities and countries.

    According to NCCL president V.K. Saxena, the project is being replicated in Delhi and in Rajkot by its respective municipal corporations to reduce the dust pollution. Under the mission, bare road shoulders are paved with pre-cast cement concrete blocks by digging six inches soil from the road level, laying of two-inch bed of sand and fixing the pre-cast blocks in an inter-locking manner without the use of cement.

    This helped both in seeping of rainwater through the blocks and reducing dust pollution.

    The NCCL took up the project with public contributions and interacted with over 30,000 people and approached some 80 private and public sector organisations, banks, business houses and others for sponsoring paving of the road shoulders adjacent to their institutions. The response, Mr. Saxena said, was "very heartening."

    Even as the implementation of the project is half way through, Ahmedabad, which was ranked the second most polluted city two years ago, has come down to the 12th position.

    According to Mr. Saxena, the Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) in the areas where the project was implemented has reduced from 200 RSPM to 115 RSPM, a near accepted level.