Joint committee report on measures to curb air pollution, traffic congestion and encroachments in and around AIIMS, Delhi, 01/07/2023
Report of the Joint Committee constituted in OA No. 202/2023 in the matter of Gaurav Sharma Vs GNCTD & Others, July 1, 2023. A
complaint was filed before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) regarding air pollution around All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, jeopardizing the health of the indoor as well as OPD patients and doctors and other staff of AIIMS.
Taking into consideration the complaint, the NGT vide its order dated March 17, 2023 constituted a 7 member joint committee to verify the facts, undertake visit to the site, interact with concerned authorities and stakeholders, coordinate with any other concerned authorities and submit its factual report with recommendations or short term and long term measures. The committee was directed to look into traffic/parking status and deliberate upon plan for mitigation measures to control air pollution in the area such as regulation of traffic, shifting to battery operated vehicles in specified areas, no vehicle zones, removal of encroachments and hawkers, dense plantations, noise and dust control measures at strategic locations, water sprinkling among other measures.
Member Secretary, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and Director, AIIMS was entrusted to be the joint nodal agency for coordination and compliance.
The committee found that food truck and food distribution event organized for community service on the footpath of Sri Aurobindo Marg along the western boundary wall of AIIMS leads to vehicles stopping for partaking of the food. It also leads to obstruction of pedestrian movement. Extensive illegal on-street parking was seen on most of the collector and local roads in the area within a 500 m buffer. These are unregulated and often haphazard. While four wheelers were found in most of these parking sites, LCVs were specifically observed in the residential areas of Gautam Nagar, Masjid Moth and South Extension.
Presence of informal shops and mobile vendors in the RoW of collector and local roads on most of the residential areas, particularly in Gautam Nagar, Yusuf Sarai and Masjid Moth was observed. Encroachment by formal shops by keeping their goods outside their shops was noticed.
A GIS based hotspot analysis was carried out overlaying all the activity and encroachment layers. It is observed that the areas south and south east of AIIMS Campus have major concentrations of activities, parking and encroachment and need to be addressed as a priority for managing parking and informal activities.
Among the long term measures recommended by the committee to address the issue of traffic congestion on high traffic volume roads of MG Road and Aurobindo Marg was that NDMC should select the AIIMS stretch to be part of the smart street scaping project so that the issue of encroachments and hawkers is permanently solved.
The idea of Traffic Police to explore the feasibility of a dedicated ambulance corridor from South Extension to Yusuf Sarai through a study to ensure faster access of emergency vehicles was also proposed. To ensure traffic management inside AIIMS, the committee said that AIIMS should consider the idea of banning all petrol and diesel vehicles within the campus in near future, except for emergency and patient transportation. The committee said that AIIMS was planning to procure 200 electric vehicles for transportation of staff and patients.