Pollution Control

Mission ENDURE (ENsuring   DUst   REduction)

Alarmed by the extreme levels of air pollution that besieged Ahmedabad city, and warnings of an explosion in related diseases such as Asthma and Silicosis, NCCL launched an innovative, practical, positive and participatory pollution-reduction project in July 2004 – Mission ENDURE (ENsuring DUst REduction) in association with Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).

This mission had an incredibly simple, but workable, methodology: Pave the road shoulders across the city with eco-friendly material, thus removing dust assimilation, and in turn, preventing raising of dust by vehicles and pedestrians. Scientific studies revealed that this seemingly simplistic method, when fully implemented, could actually reduce Ahmedabad’s air pollution by up to 42%.

Mission ENDURE was India’s first-ever endeavour of its kind and size, where an Ngo, NGO was spearheading a far-flung pollution reduction drive in a large city like Ahmedabad.

Under the Mission, bare road shoulders were paved with pre-caste cement concrete blocks, by digging 6 inches soil from the road level, watering, laying of a 2-inch bed of sand, and fixing of blocks in an interlocking manner. Since no cement is used in fixing the blocks, rainwater can seep through the blocks and recharge the subterranean waterbeds.

True to style, NCCL soft-launched the ambitious, Rs 105-crore project on July 23, 2004. Within a year, over 50,000 square metres of road shoulders were paved. What earlier seemed impossible was by then visible.

Today, NCCL has orders in hand for paving 15,000 square metres of roads flanking various housing societies, and the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). And more and more people and organizations from all walks of society are joining hands in this mission.

This eco-friendly project is being implemented by NCCL in association with AMC. While city roads cover 40 square kilometres of the total 310 square kilometres of the AMC area, unpaved road shoulders occupy about 4 square kilometers, i.e., 40 lakh square metres, amounting to approximately 10% of the area covered by the city roads.

As per an MoU signed between NCCL and AMC, last July, NCCL will generate 75% of the cost of paving through public participation, sponsorships and donations, and the AMC will meet the balance 25%. However, encouraged by the resounding success of the Mission, the Standing Committee of AMC voluntarily increased its participation from 25% to 50%, through a resolution passed on 5th May, 2005.

To popularize the Mission, NCCL have interacted with more than 22,000 people across the city in an extensive door-to-door campaign. NCCL has also approached more than 80 private & public sector organizations, banks, educational institutions, business houses, housing societies, and small & medium industries, to sponsor paving of areas adjacent to their institutions. The response has been heartening.

Educational institutions such as the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Gujarat Law Society, Vivek Education Trust and Andh Kanya Prakash Grah, and corporate houses such as J K Cement, IDBI and Adani Group, have supported Mission ENDURE by sponsoring paving of large areas in the city.

NCCL has carried out a detailed mapping of the city roads to prioritize Mission ENDURE’s work. Paving of roads in front of educational institutions and hospitals are given priority, in view of the fact that children and patients are most susceptible to dust pollution, and considering that these places have the highest volume of pedestrian traffic.

Today, the impact of Mission ENDURE is visible in front of several schools, colleges, housing societies, places of worship of the city. To name a few: St Xavier’s – Som Lalit College Road, IIM Road, Madarsa Tamilul Madina (Naroda), Kadme Rasool Dargah, Behrampura, NR School – IDBI Road, Urdu Pathshala (Behrampura), Bibima Ka Kabrastaan (Naroda), Jain Derasar (Nawa Vadaj), St Xavier’s School (Mirzapur), Swaminarayan Temple (Maninagar & Nawa Vadaj), Mansoori Jamat Kabarastan (Kankaria), Sardar Patel – Vivekanand School, Sharda Primary School and Divine Buds School (Maninagar), Taj Hotel - Airport Road, Adarsh Vidyanagar School (Usmanpura), Central School No 1 (Dudheshwar), Andh Kanya Prakash Gruh (Memnagar). Several offices and housing societies also have been beneficiaries of the Mission.

As Mission ENDURE progresses towards its logical conclusion, volunteers from all walks of life are joining hands with it, and the Mission is being acknowledged as a benchmark effort by other States of India.

And NCCL’s determination to remove forever Ahmedabad’s dubious distinction as the most polluted city of India, is rapidly nearing a happy realization.

May 2007: Mission ENDURE gets global recognition: Mission ENDURE, a dream project of NCCL to reduce dust pollution in the city of Ahmedabad, got prestigious Dubai International Award (DIA) for best practices to improve living environment. United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT) and Dubai Municipality (UAE) initiate this annual award. The Independent International Technical Advisory Committee of DIA received 650 submissions in 2006 from across the world and singled out NCCL’s initiative as a best practice. Now, Mission ENDURE will be widely referred to and disseminated through the print and electronic media by DIA at Inter Governmental Committees and World Urban Forum for scaling up and transferring lessons learned from this project.

View DIA letter & Certificate

View IIM Letter


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