With improved air quality – from “severe” few days ago to “very poor” four-five days ago to “poor” over last two days, the Commission for Air Quality Management in Delhi NCR, and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) is likely to remove the continued ban on the construction and demolition (C&D) activities in Delhi NCR.
Two days ago, while suggesting states to open schools in phased manner, the CAQM had stated that keeping in view the current air quality in Delhi-NCR, there is a need to exercise control on various sectors that significantly contribute to air pollution and hence had continued its ban on the construction and demolition activities, in place since November 27.
The CAQM had then said that since the current air quality index was within the “very poor” range, it would not be advisable to allow C&D operations. “Based on the air quality forecast and significant improvement in air quality, the decision will be reviewed,” it had said.
“In view of the significant improvement in air quality in NCR over the last three days, CAQM is likely to further liberalize restrictions in the construction sector. Decision (is) likely as early as tomorrow (Monday),” a spokesperson from the Environment, Forests and Climate Change Ministry said.
The CAQM, in its order of November 27, had directed with immediate effect that C&D activities shall not be allowed in NCR, except for the following categories of projects – railway services/railway stations, Metro Rail Services including stations, airports and inter-state bus terminals, national security/defence related activities/projects of national importance, hospitals/nursing homes/health care facilities, linear public projects such as highways, roads, flyovers, overbridges, power transmission, pipelines etc, sanitation and public utility projects like sewage treatment plants, water pumping stations etc, ancillary activities specific to and supplementing the above categories of projects.
As per ‘Source Apportionment of PM10 and PM2.5 of Delhi NCR for Identification of Major Sources’ study of August 2018, PM10 contribution from dusty sources (roads, construction and soil dust) was significant in winter season ranging from 23 to 31 per cent. Similarly, contribution of dusty sources PM2.5 in winter was 15 per cent in Delhi-city as well as NCR towns.