New Delhi: Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Sunday said the Delhi government has set up 586 teams to ensure strict implementation of the ban on construction and demolition activities in the capital in view of worsening air quality. Rai also requested the Uttar Pradesh government to use CNG buses in the national capital region, saying diesel-run buses have a big role in high pollution levels at the Delhi-UP border.
Addressing a press conference, Mr. Rai said experts have forecast that wind speed and direction will become unfavourable from November 1 which will push the air quality index into the ‘severe’ category.
Therefore, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has directed authorities in NCR to implement curbs, including a ban on construction and demolition activities, under stage three of the Graded Response Plan Action, he said.
We held a meeting with all construction agencies in the capital and government departments concerned, including PWD, MCD, Railways, DDA, Delhi Pollution Control Committee. We have decided to implement the ban on construction and demolition (C&D) activities in the city, Mr. Rai said.
The government has prepared a strong monitoring system to ensure compliance of the directions. It has set up 586 teams comprising officials of different departments, he said. These teams will monitor the implementation of the ban on C&D activities.
Mr. Rai also said Anand Vihar and Vivek Vihar have been reporting high pollution levels continuously which could be due to construction work related to Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS).
Therefore, we have directed the user agency to strictly follow the dust pollution control norms. The government has deployed 15 anti-smog guns in those areas in addition to seven water sprinklers of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. Diesel-run buses have an important role in high pollution levels at the Delhi-UP border. We request the UP government to run CNG buses in the NCR districts at least. This will help bring down air pollution,” he said.
Mr. Rai said the government will also deploy fire tenders to sprinkle water at pollution hotspots. There are 521 water sprinklers, 223 anti-smog guns and 150 mobile anti-smog guns operational in Delhi at present, he said.
Under stage III, the authorities have been asked to enforce a strict ban on construction and demolition activities in the NCR, except for essential projects and non-polluting activities such as plumbing, carpentry, interior decoration and electrical works.
The restrictions on C&D activities will not be applicable on essential projects concerning national security, defence, railways and metro rail among others. The ban on construction and demolition activities covers earthwork for excavation, boring and drilling; fabrication and welding operations; loading and unloading of construction material; transfer of raw material, including fly ash, either manually or through conveyor belts and vehicular movement on unpaved roads.
It also bans the operation of batching plants; laying of sewer lines, waterline, drainage work and electric cabling through open trench system; cutting and fixing of tiles, stones and other flooring materials; grinding activities; piling work; water proofing work; road construction and repair works, including paving of sidewalks, pathways and central verges among others.
Brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers not operating on clean fuels, and mining and associated activities in the NCR have also been banned. The NCR authorities have also been asked to close down industries not running on approved fuels in industrial areas having PNG infrastructure and supply. In industrial areas not having PNG infrastructure and supply, industries not using approved fuels can operate only for five days a week.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diarrhoea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.