NEW DELHI: With the season of toxic air quality approaching, the Delhi government has put in motion an action plan to tackle air pollution in the national capital with construction activities as a major focus.
According to Delhi government officials, while also focusing on other aspects, the environment department will start monitoring construction sites early this year.
This sector is a major contributor to air pollution in the national capital. “The monitoring of construction sites will be started earlier than usual.
"This is a priority of the government under the pollution action plan,” an official informed. Reducing dust generated at construction sites is a priority under the government’s action plan to tackle pollution.
As per the latest study by the Central Pollution Control Board, there was considerable improvement in air quality during the lockdown imposed due to coronavirus pandemic when construction activities were banned.
The CPCB report also cited a study done by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in 2018, saying that during summers, dust and construction activities contribute to almost 38 to 42 per cent to the overall particulate matter in the air.
The findings further show that, during the complete lockdown when nonessential activities and construction work was ceased, considerable improvement was seen in air quality levels as compared to the same periods last year.
The action plan also calls for spreading awareness about the crop residue (parali) burning in villages and asking neighbouring states like Punjab and Haryana to put a stop on the practice.
The government would also take steps to control pollution at major hotspots in the city in the next few days.
Places with many industries and significant vehicular activities such as Dwarka, ITO and Anand Vihar are considered pollution hotspots in the national capital.
EPCA head writes to Punjab, Haryana
The Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control Authority) had written to Punjab and Haryana, asking them to “urgently” implement measures to reduce stubble burning.
“It has been brought to our notice that early burning of crop residue is taking place in Punjab. We recognise that we have lost time because of Covid-19, but given that the winter season is now approaching, we need to tackle this with urgency and ensure compliance,” EPCA head Bhure Lal had told the two agrarian states