The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has issued notices to 172 construction projects in Delhi for flouting norms on air pollution. It has directed these ongoing projects to submit compliance reports and the current status of construction.
Calling them a major source of air pollution in the capital, the government in a statement said the projects will have to explain why consent to operate and mandatory approvals were not taken.
“The parties concerned have been directed to submit reports on the current status of construction. They also have to submit reports on steps being taken by them to comply with the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) guidelines, 2010, on prevention of dust and garbage accumulation on their sites during construction. They will also have to submit adherence reports on directions mentioned in the orders of the National Green Tribunal,” the statements read.
Officials said while these projects had obtained prior environmental clearance from the MoEF or from the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), Delhi, the mandatory ‘consent to operate’ clearance was not sought from the DPCC. This is why action is being taken against them, a senior official said.
“The existing situation of these projects gives rise to reasonable apprehension that they are either still in construction stage or have completed construction/are operational without the mandatory ‘consent to operate’ clearance,” the official said.
Environment Minister Asim Ahmed Khan has also directed officials of the department to follow up on steps being taken to penalise those responsible for burning of garbage, leaves and plastic in the open — another major source of air pollution. The minister has sought a report on steps that could be taken to reduce air pollution caused by open construction activity in the city.
The minister said steps would be taken by involving departments like the PWD and other concerned departments to draw up a joint comprehensive plan. This will comprise of awareness programmes and punitive measures to check the growing sources of air pollution.