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As Air Quality In Mumbai Deteriorates, BMC Says Construction Sites Not Taking Pollution Control Measures Will Be Shut Down

The administrator of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said that dust- and pollution-control measures should be implemented at all the construction sites

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The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and BMC would depute experts to verify the level of pollution caused by refineries in the city

Mumbai: With the air quality deteriorating in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday (October 20) warned it would stop construction anywhere, may it be a private site or a government project, if dust and pollution control measures are not being taken. Construction is going on at a whopping 6,000 sites in the city currently, an official release quoted municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal as saying. The Air Quality Index (AQI) in the city was above 200 (poor) at several places in the city during the day, the Central Pollution Control Board data showed.

Mr Chahal, who is acting as administrator of the civic body as its elections are pending, held a meeting with all stakeholders in view of the alarming air pollution levels in the city, the BMC release said. He warned,

At all these places (where construction is going on) dust- and pollution-control measures should be implemented. Else, construction will be stopped, be it private or government work.

Congress leader and former opposition leader in the BMC Ravi Raja said Mumbai’s AQI was the worst among cities in the country on Thursday but the administration did not implement a single guideline of its own pollution mitigation plan. In a statement he said,

The city faced the same problem last year too and then the BMC released the Mumbai Air Pollution Mitigation Plan in March 2023. But it seems that not even one guideline was implemented.

Thousands of people are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and kids and elderly people are the worst sufferers, he said.

The BMC release, meanwhile, said a standard operating procedures or guidelines for ensuring better air quality will be issued by Monday.

Also Read: Delhi’s Air Turns ‘Very Poor’ As Air Quality Crosses A 300-Mark; Government Issues Directions

At the meeting, Mr Chahal suggested various measures like compulsory use of 35-feet high iron sheet enclosures around construction sites and covering under-construction buildings with green cloth or jute sheets on all sides.

Sprinkler systems should be provided at all construction sites within 15 days and anti-smog guns should be provided within 30 days, the release said.

The civic body is also going to operate anti-smog guns on 50 to 60 major roads, the release said. The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and BMC would depute experts to verify the level of pollution caused by refineries in the city, Tata power plant and RCF plant and check these sites for pollution control measures, it said. The release said,

Random samples shall be collected by the experts from these installations on a regular basis and they shall be chemically analysed to ensure that no pollution is caused by these plants.

Air quality in the Mumbai region worsened barely two weeks after the end of monsoon, the BMC noted, and added that the central and Maharashtra governments have also taken note of it. The release also said,

Climate change is adversely affecting the air quality of the Mumbai metropolitan area, including the Mumbai region.

Government agencies executing metro, road and other projects must enclose their construction sites and provide sprinkler systems and anti-smog guns, the BMC said.

Mr Chahal instructed that vehicles transporting construction debris shall be covered properly with tarpaulin sheets and not carry more than the prescribed load.

The transport commissioner’s office should take stringent action against vehicles which are past their service life, do not have a Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate or are overloading, the release said.

Also Read: Mumbai Civic Body Issues Guidelines Ahead Of Navratri Festival, Chhat Puja

(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 in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. 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 populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation 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 well-being, 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 pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual 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 diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.


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