Ensure Dust Mitigation Or Face Action: Green Min Tells Delhi Authorities
According to a recently released report by the World Bank, India incurred over $55-billion losses in labour output owing to air pollution in 2013, about 0.84 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product. The actual estimates for that year might be quite high in light of the fact that 580 million people in India live in cities, which do not have air-quality-monitoring stations. The stats would certainly be more worrisome if one were to estimate the losses in the past two years. The authorities not utilising the pollution control only adds to the worry. According to a Parliamentary panel report, in 2016-17 the Budget allocation for the pollution abetment scheme was reduced from Rs 20 crore to Rs 9.60 crore and the environment ministry could utilise only Rs 6.22 crore during the year.
The ministry has, however, decided to go tough against those responsible for making the air in the national capital more polluted by dumping construction waste.
In a meeting held on March 21 to find measures to combat air pollution in the Delhi-National Capital Region, the ministry warned government agencies, including the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to ensure that construction sites have in place dust mitigation measures or else face action.
While directing the development body in Delhi to immediately stop dumping of construction waste at DDA sites or other public places, it has also directed the three civic bodies in the national capital to prepare a list of approved dumping sites.
"Government agencies like the Public Works Department (PWD), the DDA, the DMRC and the NHAI have been strictly directed to ensure that dust mitigation steps are taken at their construction sites. Default by any of these organisations will result in action against the defaulting officers of these organisations," an official statement by the ministry said.
With inputs from Housing News