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Road Dust In Bangalore

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During late 80's and early 90's, I used to love and look forward to the mornings-after-rainy-nights in Bangalore. Pollution was a problem then too. But such mornings with crisp, clean, clear air was something else.

Today was one of those mornings after the rain. What a difference. A stretch of road in my layout had no visible dust in the air. But at a distance, there was the city. Hazy.
When we say pollution, we think of vehicle emissions, horrible oxides... All too easily we forget to notice that atmospheric dust (called road dust) is one of the most prominent air pollutants. According to this Wikipedia entry, it can make up to a third of the air pollution.
We seem to have polices to curb harmful emissions, increasing green cover, avoiding vehicle idling in a grid lock or a traffic light... Certainly important, but I see almost no policy or action towards reducing the road dust in the city. If you were in Bangalore over years, it is very easy to see how its proportion has multiplied.
Simple things can do a lot of good. Keep the roads pothole free. Asphalt roads!. Or coat gravel / mud roads (I'm not even sure if there is such a thing in Bangalore, though is routine in western countries. See this PDF document with one such requirement). Mandate simple precautions in construction sites. Avoid dumping mud and other construction material all over the place. Grow grass on the shoulders. Lay good foot paths. Mandate covering trucks carrying sand and cement. Clean the roads regularly (to take out traffic generated dust).
If you travelled on Mysore road recently, you have a glaring example. SP Road at Town Hall was dug up and the muddy patch didn't see asphalt for at least 6 weeks. Why don't we mandate (which is probably already in the requirements, but ignored) that any road digging has to be immediately followed by asphalting, even if it needs digging in the next few weeks?
With alarming statistics (50% kids report Asthma in this old TOI article), and initiatives to measure air quality biting road dust most of the time (this KSPCB website has very little data for you to retrieve), something needs to be done. It is imperative that someone starts to take interest in such not-so-fancy mundane stuff.
Prajegale, would you have ideas and / or leads we could follow to influence the quality of air we breathe? What can we do? Who is responsible?Who could we talk to?


pradeep's picture

Hosur Road

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I think the roads you have mentioned is somewhat controllable but if you have driven on Hosur Road its more pathetic.By the time we reach office in bike clothes, face looks as if we hadnt taken bath from many days...



“An act of charity by the citizens questions the worthiness of the government.” 

ssheragu's picture

Road Dust In Bangalore

90 users have liked.
ssheragu I went through your article; here are a few suggestions 1. any patch of land inside a city should be either laid with with concrete or covered ith grass, as in Western Countries 2. So all roads & foot paths should be cemented and the sides should be covered with grass 3. an army of cleaners should be formed for road cleaning & garbage clenaing removal; these cleaners should be called as HEALTH INSPECTORS; 4. these HEALTH INSPECTORS should be provided with protective gear 5. these HEALTH INSPECTORS should be provided a minimum starting salary equivalent to that of a fresh engineer 6. all households and business establishments should be FINED HEAVILY if garbage or dirt is thrown in front or around the households or business establishments 7. all households & business establishments should hand over the garbage to these HEALTH INSPCTORS on a specified time & day 8. all cables, drainages, water lines and power lines should be laid underground 9. to start with an IT company or a separate company can be identified or floated if ALL OF US take up these suggestions and implement, the roads and air in Bangalore & India will be CLEAN & PURE thanks Srinath Heragu
srkulhalli's picture

You can join the road working group

97 users have liked.
Ravi, Plan is start a working group on roads in next weeks. You could join that to see if there is a way to improve some of what you have stated, at least from a road perspective


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