Air Pollution Near AIIMS: A Growing Concern
New Delhi, September 16, 2023 – A recent report submitted by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to the National Green Tribunal has shed light on the alarming air pollution near the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). This report highlights a myriad of factors contributing to the deteriorating air quality in the vicinity of AIIMS, one of India’s premier medical institutions.
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Traffic Chaos and Encroachment
One of the primary culprits identified in the report is poor traffic management. The area around AIIMS has been plagued by traffic congestion, causing vehicles to slow down in areas like Yusuf Sarai and Gautam Nagar. The major roads, such as MG Road and Aurobindo Marg, suffer from encroachments by hawkers, making the situation even worse. These issues not only lead to traffic snarls but also contribute significantly to air pollution.
Green Belt Absence
Another glaring issue brought to light is the absence of a green belt around AIIMS. The report states that the lack of greenery exacerbates the pollution problem. However, NDMC has committed to working in coordination with AIIMS and the forest department to develop a green belt in the area. Some initial efforts, such as planting bougainvillea plants and flowering shrubs, have already been undertaken.
Dust Woes at Construction Sites
The construction activities near AIIMS have also come under scrutiny in the report. Several buildings in the vicinity are undergoing renovation or repairs, leading to the release of dust particles into the air. The report mentions the daily removal of Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste on Aurobindo Marg on Ring Road to mitigate this issue.
NDMC’s Proposed Solutions
In response to these pressing concerns, NDMC has proposed a series of short-term and long-term measures. Short-term measures include the removal of encroachments from MG Road and Aurobindo Marg, as well as the establishment of permanent vending areas at select locations. Long-term solutions involve the implementation of better traffic plans and enhanced parking facilities. Furthermore, NDMC has suggested incorporating a stretch near AIIMS into a smart streetscaping project to permanently address the issue of encroachment.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has been actively involved in addressing the air pollution crisis near AIIMS. Earlier this year, it formed a committee to investigate the issue and tasked various agencies with surveying the area. NGT also demanded reports detailing action plans and measures taken to combat pollution. In July, NGT ordered an eight-member joint committee to implement recommendations from the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), which had identified issues like traffic congestion, irregular parking, encroachment, poor service road conditions, and vehicle-pedestrian conflicts as major contributors to air pollution near AIIMS.
A Vital Medical Institution in Peril
AIIMS plays a crucial role in providing healthcare services and medical education in India. However, the alarming levels of air pollution in its vicinity pose a severe health risk to patients, visitors, and staff. Immediate action is imperative to safeguard the well-being of all those associated with this esteemed institution.
As the report from NDMC highlights, air pollution near AIIMS is a multifaceted issue that demands urgent attention. The proposed measures and the involvement of NGT signify a step in the right direction, but effective implementation and sustained efforts are required to combat this environmental crisis and ensure a healthier future for all.