Lt Governor Najeeb Jung Friday flagged garbage-burning and violation of construction norms as “serious” component of air pollution in the national capital, and directed the authorities to stop the work and “heavily penalise” the offenders. The Lt Governor also formed a committee of the three municipal commissioners to work out a comprehensive plan for cleanliness and check unauthorised construction going on in the city and directed that a report be submitted to him by December 2.
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Jung held a third review meeting to discuss the condition of air pollution, wherein he was apprised that PM 2.5 level and PM 10 level have come down by 1/4th and 1/3rd respectively from November 15 to 24. The meeting was attended by Delhi PWD Minister Satyendar Jain, Environment Minister Imran Hussain and officials of other departments concerned.
He directed the MCDs and Delhi Police to ensure that Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) guidelines are followed where construction is on and violators are strictly dealt with and penalized. “Those failing to pay challan should be heavily penalised and the work should be stopped by agencies concerned,” Jung said. DPCC was asked to share the database of construction sites with the agencies concerned so that those can be monitored. All the three Municipal commissioners were told to hold meetings on air pollution every month and work out a plan to regulate entry of construction material in their areas.
In the meeting, CSE director general Sunita Narain said there is no evidence to suggest that construction sites are the primary cause of pollution in Delhi. “Narain made the comment in the context of NGT’s recent observations of a possible ban on construction. Someone in the meeting said construction is behind one-third of pollution in Delhi.
“She said it is not true and the focus should be on dust control measures, as these may also emanate from combustion,” Anumita Roychowdhury of CSE , who was also present in the meeting, said. Commissioner of south MCD informed that 1,305 challans have been issued for burning of dry leaves, garbage, while 853 challans have been issued for violation of construction and demolition norms. Five buildings have been sealed for dust pollution and 11 diesel generator sets impounded.
DPCC informed that it has closed 32 Units of polluting factories in industrial areas and 163 in redevelopment areas. PWD secretary informed that eight out of 17 U-turns have been made operational at Delhi borders to prevent non destined vehicles from entering Delhi. Special CP (Traffic) said from November 7 to 24, as many as 27,798 vehicles have been checked at Delhi borders, out of which 6,051 have been turned back. Advisories have been issued to neighbouring states to prevent such vehicles from entering Delhi.
4,464 vehicles have been challaned for not carrying Pollution Under Control Certificates and diesel vehicles, which are more than 15 years old, have been impounded. The Lt Governor directed the Transport Department to examine and suitably amend the Motor Vehicles Act for destruction of impounded vehicles. In the meeting, Jain submitted that traffic police must ensure that the trucks drive in the left lane alone and their entry into the city, as per the Lt. Governor’s directions, should be only after 12 midnight.