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Action will be taken if dust control norms not followed: Gopal Rai

Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday asked common people, private and government agencies that have undertaken construction works to take adequate measures to prevent dust pollution

After Diwali, Delhi air quality worsens 12 times higher than safe limit

Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday asked common people, private and government agencies that have undertaken construction works to take adequate measures to prevent dust pollution, else strict action will be taken against them.

The minister also said the government has started micro monitoring of all 13 pollution hot spots in the city and will soon deploy environment marshals to check violations of norms.

Rai said all construction and demolition sites, irrespective of their sizes, will have to compulsorily take five steps covering the area with a 10-metre-high tin shed and the construction and demolition waste with a green shade net, covering the vehicles carrying building material and water sprinkling.

The government has been taking action against demolition and construction sites larger than 20,000 square metres which have flouted dust control norms despite warnings, he said.

"However, during an inspection, I noticed that smaller sites have also been brazenly flouting all dust control norms," he said.

"I want to appeal to all people, private and government agencies to take follow these five measures while undertaking construction work. If you don't do it, the government will be forced to take strict action against you," Rai said.

On Sunday, the minister issued directions to impose a fine of Rs 50 lakh on the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) for not taking dust-control measures at a construction site near Vikas Sadan.

On Saturday, the Delhi government imposed a fine of Rs 20 lakh on the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry for dust pollution at a demolition site on Tansen Marg.

It is mandatory to install anti-smog guns at construction and demolition sites larger than 20,000 square metres, according to government guidelines.

Rai said the government on Monday started micro monitoring of the 13 hot spots in Delhi. The hot spots are Rohini, Dwarka, Okhla Phase-2, Punjabi Bagh, Anand Vihar, Vivek Vihar, Wazirpur, Jahangirpuri, R K Puram, Bawana, Mundka, Narela and Mayapuri.

The minister informed that nine deputy commissioners of municipal bodies have been appointed as nodal officers to keep an eye on the situation at the hot spots.

Rai also said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will launch spraying of Pusa bio-decomposer solution at Hiranki village in Narela on Tuesday.

The solution, experts say, can turn the stubble into manure in 15-20 days and therefore, can prevent stubble burning.