Delhi Pollution: Pawan Hans said several processes needed to be completed before the plan could take off
New Delhi: Aerial sprinkling of water from a chopper
to settle the dust particles is doable, state-run aviation firm Pawan Hans has told the Aam Aadmi Party-led government ahead of its first meeting with the city government on Saturday to take the proposal forward. The pollution level in Delhi reached an alarming level over the past few days.
In a letter to the Delhi government, Pawan Hans said it had the capacity to carry out aerial sprinkling and even had some experience, however, at a much smaller scale. It also pointed that there were several processes that would need to be completed before the plan can take off to try and reduce Delhi pollution levels.
One of the them was a feasibility study, Vanrajsinh H Dodia of Pawan Hans told the government. They would also need approvals from the aviation regulator and airport authority.
"Sprinkling water aerially through helicopter to settle particulate matters in Delhi shall require a comprehensive feasibility study and approvals from various authorities such as DGCA, AAI, defence, Delhi administration," said Mr Dodia.
Also, the company said they would need to figure out how to go about sprinkling water since the capital had many no-fly zones around sensitive installations such as the Prime Minister's residence and the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The AAP government had got the idea of using choppers last month
when the city's environment minister Imran Hussain, wrote to his counterpart at the centre, Dr Harsh Vardhan, seeking his help to settle dust particles of PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels on a larger scale and reduce pollution levels.
It is unclear where the AAP government got this idea to fight pollution from. But a hearing of the National Green Tribunal in November last year shows the idea was floated by the National Green Tribunal's Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar
"Why can't you use helicopters to create artificial rain to control dust pollution. Are they only meant to carry your officials?" a bench headed by National Green Tribunal Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar had asked in a hearing of the tribunal last year. The Green Court had repeated the suggestion this week when Delhi's pollution levels peaked.(With inputs from PTI)