Facing a strict deadline of 2010 to complete its new roads and flyover projects as well as to strengthen its 450-kilometre road network, the Public Works Department (PWD) is exploring options to set up its own hot-mix plant in Delhi.
The Supreme Court banned hot mix plants—where bitumen-mix for carpeting roads is produced -- in the Capital in 1996 as they release pollutants like oxides of sulphur, carbon and even some carcinogenic substances.
Delhi's road construction and maintaining agencies depend on neighbouring districts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for bitumen mix. But now, hot mix plants in these areas could be closed down.
“The pollution control board of Uttar Pradesh had sealed some of these plants in Noida and Greater Noida. They have been de-sealed now and the UP officials have assured us that these plants will continue. The Haryana Pollution Control Board too has issued notices to such plants. Though we have taken up the matter with the Haryana government, we don't really know how far our attempts will succeed,” a PWD official said.
The PWD may soon approach the Supreme Court for permission to set up a hot-mix plant that conforms to pollution norms in the Capital. With such huge projects to be completed in such a short span of time, PWD sources said having its own hot-mix plant in Delhi was a must.
“The Supreme Court had in 2007 permitted construction giant Larsen and Toubro to set up hot-mix plants required for the up-gradation of the Delhi airport by 2010. We will also use the same premise to have our own hot-mix plant.
The PWD has also identified land in Delhi where the hot mix plant can be set up.
“We are contemplating to have modern hot mix plants, which have emission level less than the limits prescribed under pollution control rules. The new Master Plan 2021 also permits setting up of a hot-mix plant after prior permission from the Central Pollution Control Board and Delhi Pollution Control Committee,” said a PWD engineer.