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Construction ban in Gurugram from Nov 1­-10 after air quality touches ‘severe’ level

District officials said industries operating on coal and biomass (barring thermal power plants) have also been directed to shut down between November 4 and 10, while public bodies have been directed to undertake several other measures.

gurgaon Updated: Oct 30, 2018 13:50 IST
Kartik Kumar
Kartik Kumar
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
gurugram,gurugram air quality,Grap
A view of Gurugram’s skyline engulfed in smog and air pollution, on Monday, October 29, 2018. (Parveen Kumar / HT Photo )

A day after air quality in the city touched ‘severe’ levels for the first time this season, the district administration on Monday issued directions for enforcing measures under the Graded Response Action Plan (Grap), leading to a ban on all construction work and operation of hot-mix plants and stone crushers in the city between November 1 and 10.

District officials said industries operating on coal and biomass (barring thermal power plants) have also been directed to shut down between November 4 and 10, while public bodies have been directed to undertake several other measures. “We need to be prepared for November 1-10 as per the directions by the EPCA. The authorities concerned have also been apprised of the measures to carry out necessary works,” said Munish Sharma, additional deputy commissioner.

Since large-scale infrastructure projects, such as construction of the Dwarka Expressway, the Southern Peripheral Road and widening of the Badshahpur drain, are currently not being carried out, the ban on construction is unlikely to have an effect on them.

However, real estate projects along the Golf Course Road, the Golf Course Extension Road and new sectors are expected to be affected by the order. The last time construction was banned in the city was on June 15 and 16, when air quality became ‘severe’.

“Gurugram is still a city in the making, hence, construction is going on in many areas especially the new sectors, which also makes the activity one of the biggest contributors to air pollution. While the order will have a big effect, its monitoring is equally important. The last time construction was banned, work continued at many sites despite the order,” environmentalist Vaishali Rana Chandra said.

District officials said the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) and the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) will intensify patrolling against open waste burning and construction activities and also levy stringent fines on the violators.

Real estate projects measuring over 20,000 square yards have to be checked by HSPCB officials, and smaller projects by MCG for anti-pollution rules violations.

On Saturday, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) had directed all NCR cities to implement these measures as air quality is expected to further deteriorate between November 1 and 10 due to high pollutants from farm fires across Haryana and Punjab.

The farmers in the two states set crop remnants on fire to clear fields for the sowing season.

According to the CPCB, Air Quality Index (AQI) between 0 and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 is ‘poor’, 301 and 400 is ‘very poor’ and 401 and 500 is ‘severe’.

On Monday’s Gurugram’s AQI value was 389, marginally better than Sunday’s 403.

First Published: Oct 30, 2018 13:50 IST