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To control pollution in Ghaziabad, DME, RRTS sites to be monitored for dust emission

PUBLISHED ON SEP 30, 2020 11:32 PM IST

Ghaziabad: The two major transport infrastructure projects in Ghaziabad – the Delhi Meerut Expressway (DME) and the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) – are to be brought under the eye of the district administration, who will ensure that there is no dust emission at the sites of the respective projects, failing which heavy environment compensation costs will be levied.

The decision came after Bhure Lal, the chairperson of the Environment (Pollution and Control) Authority (EPCA), held a review meeting with Ghaziabad officials on Wednesday, wherein he scrutinised the status of several pollution hot spot areas which were indicated during his visit to the district September 19.

“The EPCA chairperson has directed special attention to DME; it is to be ensured that there is no dust emission. We have also directed the state pollution board officials to keep tabs on under-construction activities at RRTS site as they are also likely to have dust emissions,” said Ajay Shankar Pandey, district magistrate, Ghaziabad.

Presently, the 19.2km phase two and 32km phase four of DME are under construction from UP-Gate to Dasna, and Dasna to Meerut, respectively. On the recommendation of Lal, the Uttar Pradesh pollution control board (UPPCB) officials said that they had levied a penalty of Rs 5 lakh against the National Highways Authority of India and have also imposed Rs 50,000 penalty against the RRTS project, which had been reported by HT.

“The two penalties were levied for dust emission at sites of DME and RRTS projects. An additional penalty of Rs 50,000 was also imposed against NHAI for violation of construction and demolition norms. Overall, we have imposed a total penalty of Rs 1,50,000 in 13 instances, which includes penalty for different violations,” said Utsav Sharma, regional officer of the UPPCB.

“As a result of the DME project, there is dust emission and it directly affects our two monitoring stations at Indirapuram and Vasundhara. Likewise, RRTS construction also affects air quality, and monitoring stations at Vasundhara and Sanjay Nagar are affected,” he added.

Officials of the NCR Transport Corporation (NCRTC), the agency which is taking up the RRTS project, said that they will be directing their contractors to be more vigilant when it comes to pollution abatement measures.

“The contractors are already using water sprinklers and anti-smog guns to tackle dust emissions at the sites. We will ask them to be more careful as NCRTC has always maintained high standards when it comes to managing construction sites,” said Sudhir Sharma, chief PRO of NCRTC.

At present, NCRTC is taking up construction of the 17km priority stretch, from Sahibabad to Duhai, and another 33km, from Duhai to Shatabdipuram in Meerut, for RRTS.

NHAI said it has deployed 18 water tankers and three anti-smog guns at their construction sites.

“We are ensuring that there are no dust emissions at the sites and contractors have also been asked to be more careful during construction activities in wake of the approaching winter season,” said Mudit Garg, project director of NHAI.

Apart from special focus on the two major projects, the EPCA chairperson appreciated cleaning activities which were taken up outside the Sahibabad vegetable market by agencies.

“The issue of dumping of solid waste and garbage at Bulandshahr Road Industrial Area is almost resolved and we will take up heavy plantation at the site. Further, all respective agencies taking up other projects in the city have been asked to inform their contractors to take precautions, otherwise their contracts will be cancelled,” the DM said.

During the review, Lal also directed Ghaziabad officials to take up pending works within one week.

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