Centre sanctions additional Rs 7.5 crore to Vijayawada Municipal Corporation to improve air quality
In the first phase, works estimated around `31 crore, including installation of automatic air quality monitoring sensors, water fountains and battery charging-cumswapping stations etc.
VIJAYAWADA: The Centre has sanctioned an additional grant of `7.5 crore to the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) as part of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). VMC officials along with other stakeholders, including Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB), RTA, Police and Industries, are formulating a plan to improve the air quality in the civic body limits. In 2019, the Centre had listed Vijayawada and five other cities in the State under NCAP to reduce level of air pollution. So far, the Centre has sanctioned `62 crore for the city under the 15th Finance Commission funds.
In the first phase, works estimated around `31 crore, including installation of automatic air quality monitoring sensors, water fountains and battery charging-cumswapping stations, improving green cover and beautification of canal bunds, would be taken up. “Developing green corridors across the city will be prioritised, besides arranging buffer zones” VMC chief engineer M Prabhakar Rao told TNIE.
Green corridors will help avoid traffic snarls and reduce carbon emissions from vehicles, he explained. Elaborating how water fountains at major traffic junctions will help, he said, “There will be more moisture in the air which will improve the microclimate and help settle the dust. This can be cleaned using sweeping machines.”
V’wada a ‘non-attainment city’: Pollution control board
Three sweeping machines have been purchased at `1.5 crore to clear the dust on the corners of roads. Paver blocks will also be laid on 28 roads identified across the city, Rao said.“APPCB has chalked out proposals to install four continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations at a cost of `1 crore with 24X7 digital display boards at key locations across Vijayawada. Works in this regard are progressing at various levels,” the official added.
The VMC has also sanctioned `5 crore to the police department to install intelligent traffic management system in the city.The Central Pollution Control Board has identified Vijayawada as a non-attainment city, meaning its air did not meet the national ambient air quality standards of 2011 to 2015.“As of now, the coproration, along with other stakeholders, is preparing a plan to take up various initiatives to reduce pollution in the city,” Prabhakar said, adding that works will be carried out by the respective departments soon.