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Swept under the carpet

The last decade has seen growing investment in mechanical road sweepers across Indian cities. These machines have gathered public and media interest alike. However, despite the introduction of mechanical sweepers, the city roads have largely remained unchanged. Under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), many cities have focused on these vehicles as the primary intervention to clean road dust. Road dust is a major cause of small and large particulate matter pollution in cities. However, mechanical sweepers cannot be an effective solution for it, as the poor condition of Indian roads makes them unviable.