AAP govt to review impact of strict dust control measure

AAP govt to review impact of strict dust control measure

AAP govt to review impact of strict dust control measure

Delhi government will soon review the impact of the strict dust control measures implemented by it in the last few months.

According to a government order in January, repeat offenders are to be fined Rs 50,000 daily and warned that they have to stop construction till they adhere to the environmental norms.

Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has said that its seriousness towards controlling dust pollution has increased the compliance rate.

A review meeting will be conducted next week by Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, who is also the nodal minister for controlling air pollution, and Environment Minister Imran Hussain. 

“There is better compliance compared to before we started issuing notices and penalising. Now the companies are effectively putting dust control measures in place. We will analyse the data in the meeting next week,” said a senior official.

Dust from construction activity is one of the main contributors to Delhi’s toxic air.
Noting that dust emissions from rampant and unregulated construction activity, transportation of construction material, construction debris and mining activity could have “dangerous dimensions”, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had in April last year ordered complete halt to such activities in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), including Gurgaon and Noida, if they did not adhere to environment norms.

Besides levying hefty penalties, the government's Environment department is also calling a meeting of construction agencies which are repeat offenders and sensitising them about the problem.

Last week, the DPCC issued notices and penalties to 10-12 companies, mostly government agencies like DDA and CPWD, after inspections around April 20, and asked them to come for a personal hearing with the status on the ground.

If during the hearing, they are able to show that they are now taking effective steps, they could get a more lenient treatment.

“We are giving them an opportunity to come within a week and submit their responses and measures taken. Our purpose is not gaining financially through penalties but minimising dust pollution,” an official said.    

One such hearing is scheduled on May 6.

According to the current environment impact assessment guidelines, storing of construction material on roads is banned, scaffolding around under-construction buildings is to be covered with tarpaulin, construction material must be covered on the site and also during transportation, and workers should be provided dust masks.