Delhi Assembly's environment panel slams MCDs for being 'negligent' in mechanical sweeping of roads

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New Delhi, Jan 4 (PTI) The Delhi Assembly's environment committee, hearing complaints of dust pollution, pulled up the BJP-ruled municipal corporations on Monday for being 'negligent' in mechanically sweeping roads under their jurisdiction.

Commissioners of the three municipal corporations of Delhi (MCDs) were present before the committee, headed by AAP legislator Atishi.

'It was very shocking that the municipal commissioners of Delhi have no clue regarding the length of roads under their jurisdiction that are to be mechanically swept. How will they ensure a dust-free Delhi?,' a statement by the committee quoted Atishi as saying.

'Environment Committee summoned the three MCDs today regarding rising dust levels and air pollution in Delhi, and sought an explanation as to why mechanical sweeping was not being done. Negligence of all three MCDs was shocking,' Atishi said in a tweet.

She also tweeted, 'None of the MCDs even knew the total length of roads in their corporation area they are meant to be swept mechanically. There is no mechanism for fines or penalties in case the contractor running the machine does not clean the prescribed area.' Another MLA, Ajay Dutt, said that all the three municipal corporations have been asked to submit an action plan for reducing dust pollution.

'The DPCC has been asked to take strict action against individual officers responsible for the rising dust levels in Delhi,' he said.

The meeting, held in view of the rising air pollution, highlighted that road dust has been a major component of air pollution in Delhi. According to the National Green Tribunal orders, all municipal corporations were to use mechanical sweepers.

'However, it was found that the machines were being under-utilized by the MCDs as highlighted by the TERI report. When questioned about the total area/length of road swept, criteria for employing the total number of machines and basis of contract, the officials from MCDs seemed unaware,' the statement said.

The committee has requested the corporations to submit a detailed plan in this regard in seven days, it said.

Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said it was sad to see the Delhi Assembly's Environment Committee carrying out a 'hidden political agenda' against BJP-ruled civic bodies by raising a new issue every other day.

'South MCD collects and gives crores of rupees of environment cess from vehicles entering in the national capital to the Delhi government which lie unspent for years. If Environment Committee head Atishi is actually concerned about controlling dust pollution, she should ask the Delhi government to hand over funds collected under environment cess to civic bodies to ensure proper mechanical sweeping in the city,' he said.

Kapoor, however, clarified that the BJP stands committed to ensure clean environment in Delhi. PTI VIT NSD NSD