Amid rising air pollution in the capital, the Delhi government on Sunday banned construction and demolition activities in line with the GRAP.
The sub-Committee for invoking actions under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) of the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR & Adjoining Areas (CAQM) had held an emergency meeting on Saturday to address the deteriorating air quality and had recommended all actions as envisaged under Stage III of the GRAP – ‘Severe’ Air Quality of the National Capital Region.
Environment Minister Gopal Rai said: “Construction and demolition activity has been prohibited in Delhi due to the city’s rising pollution. 586 teams have been formed to monitor the construction-demolition ban. Water sprinkling has been intensified in view of the pollution situation. 521 water sprinklers, 233 anti-smog guns, and 150 mobile anti-smog guns have been deployed to tackle pollution in Delhi.”
Rai assured that the third phase of GRAP’s restrictions would be put into effect in Delhi per the CAQM’s directives.
“The CAQM system had earlier announced that during this winter season, the GRAP system will be set in three days earlier based on the Air Quality Index (AQI) at the time. Right now, according to the information that we are getting from experts, after November 1, the speed of the wind is likely to be in the range of 4-8 kmph, the direction is likely to turn towards the northwest, and based on the available information, we have been told that the AQI levels are likely to cross 400, which comes in the ‘severe’ category.
“Today in Delhi, we held a meeting with all the stakeholders, particularly those who are engaged in the construction business – PWD, CPWD, MCD, DDA, Railways and all the agencies working in the construction sites and informed them about the ban on construction and demolition work,” he said.
“According to the CAQM order, we will implement all the regulations for Delhi. This year, we have also worked towards ensuring better implementation of the order. In previous years, we had noticed that despite a ban being enforced, there were some sites where work was still ongoing,” Rai said.