Pollution: SDMC asks NBCC to stop construction activities at Pragati Maidan

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New Delhi:

Seeking to curb the city’s pollution level, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) Sunday asked the state-run NBCC to “immediately halt” all construction and demolition activities at its project site at Pragati Maidan, officials said.

The SDMC said it has taken several measures in view of the deteriorating air quality in the city over the last one week.

“SDMC Sunday hired 22 additional water tankers for water sprinkling in open areas, taking the total number of such tankers to 62. The NBCC has been told to immediately stop all construction and demolition activities of the Pragati Maidan project after NBCC seems to have ignored earlier request of SDMC to it to follow the NGT guidelines,” the civic body said in a statement.

The NBCC is building a world-class convention-cum-exhibition centre at the site of the Pragati Maidan.

“SDMC has also started ground-level monitoring on a continuous basis to ensure that the common objective of reducing pollution level is achieved and air quality does not deteriorate further,” SDMC Commissioner P K Goel said.

He said the civic body was committed to strictly enforce the directions of the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), including the instructions it had received from it on Saturday.

The Supreme Court-empowered EPCA is tasked with taking various measures to tackle air pollution in the Delhi-National Capital Region.

The EPCA is also mandated to enforce Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in the city as per the pollution levels.

In November, the EPCA had enforced several measures, including closure of the Badarpur thermal power plant, ban on brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers, and construction activities.

The air quality in Delhi remained poor Sunday with drop in wind speed even as authorities predicted further fall in air quality index of the national capital in the coming days.

The overall air quality index (AQI) recorded at 10 am Sunday stood at 208 which falls in the ‘poor’ category, according to Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

“The SDMC has told in plain words to NBCC/Shapoorji Pallonji, working on Pragati Maidan project, to immediately stop all construction or demolition activities at site or face the music under DMC Act 1957. A communication has been issued to stop construction activities as NBCC ignored earlier request to this regard and NGT’s guidelines,” the SDMC said.

They have been asked to produce a sanction plan of the project issued by any competent authority or obtain the same from the SDMC and stop all construction or demolition activities till the submission of the sanction plan, it said.

The order to stop the construction will, however, remain in effect till the air quality level is brought to a satisfactory level as per the standards specified by the EPCA, the civic body said.

Meanwhile, the sprinkling of water by tankers Sunday was undertaken in several areas, including Batla House to Okhla Head Works, Okhla SLF, and Defence Colony, Jal Vihar, Lajpat Nagar, Sunder Nagar, Bhairon Marg and R K Puram sectors 1 and 4.

 

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