Delhi govt launches anti-dust campaign to curb air pollution
The Delhi government on Thursday kick-started a month-long anti-dust campaign to ensure that pollution from construction sites is controlled ahead of winters.
During an inspection at construction sites on Thursday, Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai said the government will take strict action against agencies found violating the dust control guidelines. Rai also conducted a surprise inspection of the construction site at Pragati Maidan, and levied a fine of ₹5 lakh on the contractor for not adhering to dust control guidelines while constructing an underpass.
“During an inspection, we found lots of dust at the site. The green net installed to control dust pollution was torn. There was no water in the tank of the anti-smog gun,” the minister said.
Rai also said that a notice has been issued to the construction company, asking it to comply with the 14-point dust control guidelines issued by the Delhi government. If it fails to do so in two days, a fine of ₹5 lakh per day will be imposed, he said.
According to a study by IIT-Kanpur in 2016, road dust contributes 56% of the overall pollution in the national capital.
The Delhi government also launched a ‘dust pollution control self-assessment portal’ to further bolster the anti-dust campaign. Senior officials said that monitoring of sites will start from November 1, through the portal, till October 29. Thirty one teams have been tasked with on-ground investigation.
Rai said that all agencies, both government and private, will have to mandatorily adhere to all anti-dust norms, adding “the Delhi government will not tolerate any laxity”.
“The online portal that we have launched as part of the anti dust campaign will prove to be a historic step. Through this portal all the construction work going on in Delhi, whether it is a house or a project, it will be closely monitored. Training will start from next week to help people connect with the portal,” Rai said.
Environment department officials said agencies including Public Works Department (PWD), Delhi Jal Board, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the three municipal corporations are already being trained to register and use the website.
A senior nodal official from East Delhi Municipal Corporation said they were not aware of any order regarding mandatory registration of smaller construction sites with a government website.
“We will enforce the dust control measures as stated in the Graded Response Action Plan (Grap). Our Junior Engineers will make regular visits to the construction sites to ensure that green screens are used, construction material is not left uncovered and water is used to suppress dust,” the official said.
The civic body issued an order on Wednesday that building plan approval may be cancelled if the owner of a property or developers fail to safely dispose of and transport the construction and demolition waste from their site to Shastri Park plant.
The junior engineers (building department) have been asked to make fortnightly visits to the construction site in their area, the official said.