When summer comes, can dust be far behind? With the mercury slowly rising in the Capital, the Delhi government has begun cracking down on construction sites that are flouting dust-control norms.
While winter has its own problems with higher particulate matter levels, summer months see dust becoming the biggest source of pollution.
Over the past 10 days, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee has carried out inspections at 150 construction sites and found many defaulters.
“We found rampant violations at the sites where construction materials were lying uncovered. We have issued instructions to crack down on polluters,” said Secretary (Environment and Forest Department) Ashwani Kumar.
The municipal corporations and the offices of the Sub-Divisional Magistrates, which are empowered to issue fines for dust pollution, have been asked to inspect three kinds of sites — private land where construction material is lying uncovered, public land encroached by builders to store material and sites operated by government agencies.
Construction sites are required to keep raw materials covered and prevent it from flying around by keeping it wet. Trucks are supposed to be washed before exiting the site, so as not to transport dust all over the city. Violators are liable to pay a fine of Rs.50,000 as per an National Green Tribunal order. The Delhi government had rec ently increased the fine from a one-time payment to a Rs.50,000 penalty per day for repeat offenders.
According to officials, of the 13 big sites that were identified as repeat offenders, all have submitted compliance reports after the penalty was increased.
Meanwhile, another source of pollution in the summer is vapour from petrol filling stations.
Mr. Kumar said directions were issued to all oil companies on Monday asking them to install vapour recovery systems at the 750 filling stations in Delhi.
The summer months see dust becoming the biggest source