Delhi govt begins drive to check construction site pollution

The government on Thursday started a month-long campaign to check dust pollution at construction sites in the city. 

Published: 07th October 2022 07:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th October 2022 07:43 AM   |  A+A-

Dust, Pollution

Representational Image. (File Photo)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday started a month-long campaign to check dust pollution at construction sites in the city. The drive, called the anti-dust campaign, is a part of the government’s 15-point charter of the Winter Action Plan and also one of the responses under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).

Environment Minister Gopal Rai said 586 teams from 12 government departments and agencies will monitor compliance with the pollution norms at under-construction sites. “These teams will conduct surprise inspections at construction sites to check whether they are complying with the pollution norms,” he informed.

“According to the regulations, construction sites larger than 5,000 square meters (sqm) will need to set up one anti-smog gun, those larger than 10,000 sqm, two anti-smog guns, and sites larger than 15,000 sqm, three anti-smog guns,” Rai said. “Similarly, sites bigger than 20,000 sqm will have to engage four anti-smog guns to combat dust pollution,” he added. 

Rai said that out of 586 enforcement teams, 33 are from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, 165 from the Department of Revenue, 300 from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, 33 from the Delhi Development Authority, 14 from the Delhi Jal Board and six from the Public Works Department, among others.

He also  said that violators will be penalized with a fine ranging from Rs 5,000 to 5 lakh, depending on the severity of the violations. “It is compulsory for all construction sites to follow the 14 anti-dust norms. Strict action is to be taken against violators. On violation of anti-dust norms at construction sites, fines ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 5 lakh+ to be imposed by the government as per NGT guidelines,” Rai said.
On 30 September, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a 15-pointer Winter Action Plan (WAP) to fight the air pollution menace which gets worsened during winters. 

The anti-dust campaign is the third measure under the WAP. Earlier, the city government announced two measures—a 24X7 green war room to monitor WAP/GRAP compliance and ordering no refueling at gas stations to vehicles without valid Pollution under Control (PUC). There are 14-point guidelines that every construction company or agency will have to follow at its sites in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Some of these norms are deploying anti-smog guns, covering construction sites with tin walls and tarpaulin sheets and not leaving construction material uncovered. The minister also appealed to Delhiites to actively participate in the fight against pollution.

Smog tower cut 17% pollution last winter: CPCB

NEW DELHI: The 82-feet-high smog tower at Anand Vihar reduced PM2.5 concentration by up to 17 per cent in a radius of 100 metres in the 2021-22 winter season, according to the Central Pollution Control Board data. The CPCB said the smog tower reduced PM10 pollution levels by up to 27 per cent at a distance of 100 metres during the period. Avikal Somvanshi, senior programme manager, Urban Lab, Centre for Science and Environment, termed the results “insignificant”, saying it seems the giant air purifier did not lead to any improvement in air quality beyond 200 metres. It reduced PM2.5 levels at a distance of 100 metres by 13 per cent in December last year, 7 per cent in March this year and 17 per cent in April.


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