Authorities on Friday banned overnight construction work in the National Capital Region (NCR). The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (Epca) in its directions sent to the governments of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh said, “All implementing agencies in Delhi-NCR to be on high alert and strictly enforce law for controlling pollution activities including actions for checking stubble burning in the states of Punjab and Haryana.”
The Delhi government also decided to deduct the salary of executive engineers of the PWD and other agencies if they fail to remove garbage and construction waste from areas under their control.
Charing a high-level meeting, Chief Secretary Vijay Dev directed the departments concerned and municipal corporations that action plans regarding the city’s 13 pollution hotspots be accorded the highest priority and action points completed within two weeks.
Dev directed that the construction and demolition (C&D) waste, as well as garbage dumped around these hotspots be cleared within 24 hours and day-and-night patrolling intensified to prevent further illegal dumping.
“It was decided that executive engineers of PWD and other agencies, who are negligent in getting the dumps (of waste) removed from the roads and areas under their control, should be held personally responsible and appropriate deduction from their salary be effected to send a clear signal that negligence in such emergent situation will not be tolerated,” said an official who attended the meeting.
Two days before Diwali, Delhi’s air quality dropped to the season’s worst on Friday, with the decreased wind speed leading to accumulation of pollutants and affecting dispersion
The city’s overall air quality index (AQI) fluctuated between 284 and 315 on Friday. Most of the places in the capital recorded the AQI in the “very poor” category, while the situation inched towards “severe” in some areas.