August 4, 2021 11:47:15 am
The Dust Management Committee, constituted by the Delhi Government, has recommended the installation of real-time air quality monitors at large construction sites and penalties for project promoters failing to bring down emissions.
Construction sites above 20,000 square metres and those that require environmental clearance will have to deposit a bank guarantee that is 1 per cent of the project cost with the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), the report suggests. It should also apply to ongoing projects, the report adds.
The report suggests setting up three PM10 and PM2.5 real-time monitors at each site. These monitors will send data on emissions directly to the DPCC server. If pollutants exceed defined thresholds, the DPCC system will alert the project promoter.
If PM10 or PM2.5 is found to be more than 25 per cent of the figure at the nearest Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station, the project promoter will be alerted and given three hours to take action. If they fail to do so, 10 per cent of the bank guarantee or a minimum of Rs. 1 lakh, whichever is higher, will be levied as a penalty. If no action is taken even 12 hours after the first warning, 20 per cent of the bank guarantee or Rs. 3 lakh, whichever is higher, will be levied as a penalty. If it continues for more than 24 hours, they will be ordered to cease activity at the site, and DPCC personnel will visit the site to ensure that mitigation measures are taken, after which construction can resume.
Video cameras will also have to be installed at the construction site by those implementing the project. The visuals are to be used to identify sources of dust and mitigate them. Digital boards are to be installed at the worksite to inform people in the neighbourhood about the air quality.
“Once the guidelines have been notified, ongoing projects will be given 60 days to comply,” the report said.
Project promoters found tampering with the analysers will be penalised. Penalties will also be imposed if the monitor goes offline and does not transmit data for more than 144 minutes in a 24-hour period.
Construction and road dust contributes to around 15 to 40 per cent of the PM2.5 emissions in Delhi, the report says.
The committee was constituted earlier this year with representatives from the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi, DPCC, IIT Delhi, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Delhi International Airport Limited and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to recommend actions for the management of dust pollution in Delhi.
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