‘Work can be done only after ensuring dust mitigation steps’
Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Friday held a meeting with private construction agencies and gave strict instructions to follow the 14-point guidelines issued by the Delhi government to prevent dust pollution.
Mr. Rai said private agencies engaged in construction work in Delhi will have to meet the norms issued to check dust pollution within 15 days and all private agencies should hold a review meeting at construction sites to see which guidelines are being followed and which are not.
The Environment Minister warned that the government will take strict action against private agencies not following the norms under the winter action plan.
Construction and demolition activity in Delhi, the government stated, can be undertaken only after ensuring dust mitigation measures. These include dust/wind breaking walls of appropriate height around the periphery of the construction site, the installation of anti-smog gun(s) and the use of tarpaulin or green net on scaffolding at construction sites.
In addition, all vehicles carrying construction material and debris need to be fully covered, should be stored on site and not dumped on public roads or pavements, and construction and demolition waste needs to be recycled on-site or transported to authorised recycling facilities.
Fight for breath
“We all have to fight for our breath together. Therefore, all of us will have to fulfil our responsibility with full sincerity. All private agencies should appoint an employee at their construction sites to see whether the norms are being followed or not. Everyone has to make changes in their daily behaviour,” he said.
“We are focusing on 10 focus points to efficiently execute our plans. One of the most important points among these is the problem of dust pollution. To curb dust pollution, we called for a meeting of all the agencies in Delhi which are involved in construction activities,” Mr. Rai added.
These agencies included the municipal corporations, DDA, CPWD, PWD, Department of Irrigation and Flood Control, and DSIIDC. The Minister directed the agencies’ representatives to submit their action plan by September 21.
Apart from these agencies, Mr. Rai said the government had observed that many private agencies involved in construction contribute to the dust pollution problem. So, more than 50 major construction agencies, which included L&T, GMR Group, Raheja Developers, NDMMPL and NBCC among others, were also informed of whatever shortcomings were observed at their end.
“We have communicated strict directions to private construction agencies. They have to comply within 15 days with the guidelines. After that, the government will take action and start proceedings in accordance with the winter action plan,” he added.
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