Mission ENDURE for dust free cities
Mission ENDURE (ENsuring DUst REduction), a unique project launched by the National Council for Civil Liberties, an Ahmedabad-based NGO, to reduce dust pollution in Ahmedabad city has met with success. The project was unveiled in July 2004.
Under Mission ENDURE, the first of its kind in the country, the NGO is promoting a "practical, positive and participatory solution" to reduce dust pollution. The total cost of the project is Rs 105 crore. Within 11 months since the launch of the project, over 40,000 sq. m of road shoulders have been paved. Today, NCCL has orders in hand for paving 15,000 sq. m from housing societies and even Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.
NCCL is implementing this lifetime eco-friendly project in association with AMC. While city roads comprise 40 sq. km of the total 310 sq. km of municipal corporation area, unpaved road shoulders occupy about 4 sq. km i.e. 40 lakh sq. m of area, amounting to about 10 per cent of the area covered by city roads.
According to the MoU signed between NCCL and AMC, last July, it was decided that NCCL would generate 75 per cent cost through public participation, sponsorships and donations and the corporation would fund the remaining 25 per cent. Following the success of the Mission, in May 2005, the Standing Committee of AMC passed a resolution to increase its participation from 25 per cent to 50 per cent.
Says V.K. Saxena, President, NCCL: "More than 80 private and public sector organisations, banks, educational institutions, corporate and business houses, housing societies, and small and medium industries have approached us to sponsor large areas to alleviate dust hazards."
A recent survey indicates that 42 per cent of air pollution in Ahmedabad is due to dust, generated from unpaved side shoulders of the roads. The work includes paving of bare road shoulders with precast cement concrete blocks, by digging 6" soil from the road level, watering, laying of 2" bed of sand and fixing of blocks in an interlocking manner. As no cement is used in fixing the blocks, this eco-friendly scheme allows rainwater to seep through the blocks and recharge the aquifer.
As per the agreement with the AMC, all sponsors will be allowed to put up two signboards of 2x3 ft for every 300-m long stretch of the road for a period of two years for which AMC will not levy any charges.
[11 July 2005]