Friday, May 24

AIIMS Pollution Woes: Traffic, Encroachment, and Green Belt Deficiency Identified as Key Factors

The pollution issues plaguing the vicinity of AIIMS have been traced back to several crucial factors. These include heavy traffic congestion, rampant encroachment, and a noticeable deficiency in green belt spaces. These factors collectively contribute to the deteriorating air quality and environmental challenges in the area surrounding AIIMS, highlighting the pressing need for comprehensive solutions to mitigate pollution and enhance the well-being of the community in the vicinity.

New Delhi: The issue of air pollution near AIIMS has been attributed to a combination of factors, including poor traffic management, encroachment by hawkers, the absence of a green belt, and challenges related to dust control at nearby construction sites. This assessment was detailed in a report recently submitted by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

 

AIIMS Pollution Woes: Traffic, Encroachment, and Green Belt Deficiency Identified as Key Factors
AIIMS Pollution Woes: Traffic, Encroachment, and Green Belt Deficiency Identified as Key Factors

 

The NGT had earlier formed a committee to investigate the air pollution problem near AIIMS and instructed various agencies to conduct surveys in the area. Additionally, it had requested reports outlining action plans and steps taken to combat the pollution in the vicinity.

The NDMC’s report outlines measures it has already undertaken to mitigate pollution near AIIMS and proposes further steps. Short-term strategies include the removal of encroachments from MG Road and Aurobindo Marg, along with the establishment of permanent vending areas at specific locations. As part of long-term measures, improved traffic management plans and enhanced parking facilities have been recommended to address the pollution issue effectively.

The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has put forward recommendations to address the issue of encroachment near AIIMS. Specifically, it suggests incorporating a section near AIIMS into a smart streetscaping project as a permanent solution to encroachment challenges. The NDMC has emphasized its ongoing efforts in conducting special drives to remove encroachments from MG Road and Aurobindo Marg.

In addition to encroachment, the NDMC highlighted other issues affecting the AIIMS vicinity. This includes the issue of vehicles slowing down in areas like Yusuf Sarai and Gautam Nagar due to encroachments, as well as the prevalence of street parking on nearly all roads in the area, which hinders smooth traffic flow. The presence of permanent structures such as shops and transformers encroaches upon the right of way.

Furthermore, the NDMC noted the absence of a green belt around the AIIMS premises and plans to collaborate with the forest department and AIIMS to develop this green space. While the NDMC has already introduced bougainvillea plants and flowering shrubs in the area, efforts to establish a more comprehensive green belt are in progress. These measures aim to improve the overall environment and address various challenges faced near AIIMS.

The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) affirmed that daily garbage collection operations are being carried out near the AIIMS premises. It emphasized that numerous areas around AIIMS are undergoing building renovations or repairs, necessitating effective dust control measures. The removal of construction and demolition (C&D) waste from Aurobindo Marg on Ring Road is also a daily task.

In July, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had directed the establishment of an eight-member joint committee to implement recommendations put forth by the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) for controlling and mitigating sources of air pollution around AIIMS. SPA’s assessment had identified traffic congestion, irregular parking, encroachments, poor service road conditions, and conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians as major contributors to air pollution in the vicinity of AIIMS. These findings underscore the multifaceted approach required to address the pollution challenges faced by the area.


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