Besides the burning of biomass, the construction sites in the city are also contributing to the alarming rise of air pollution in the city. Construction of new buildings, residential societies and ongoing projects of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), etc, are also playing a significant role in lowering the air quality. The dust being generated due to these ongoing projects is causing a steep rise in Particulate Matter (PM) 10. According to statistics, PM-10 accounts for over 30 per cent pollution in the national Capital.
Ongoing projects by various other civic agencies are also adding up to the city’s ever deteriorating air quality. Environmentalists and health experts in Delhi say that PM 10 is most commonly associated with road dust and construction activities and contribute to its rise.
As per the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) officials, 30 per cent of air pollution is caused due to dust which emanates from construction sites.
Ashwani Kumar, Secretary Member of the Environment Department at Delhi Government said, “Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) issues the Environment Clearance Certificate to construction industry…There are certain guidelines for construction sites, for instance - to cover the construction site with thin plastic sheets and to irrigate site in order to settle down dust particles timely.”
Explaining about how construction and digging have contributed to disrupt environmental health, Gopal Krishna, environmentalist from Anti Toxic Watch Alliance, said that Government bodies should ensure the Environment Impact Assessments (EIA) for the construction sites. “The construction sites are full of ultrafine, nanofine, silica and asbestos particles which are very tiny and cause respiratory diseases among workers and others who are under the exposure,” said Krishna.
“People in Delhi are not able to inhale clean fresh air. The construction industries and Government bodies never documented the occupational health data which can really help to create awareness and find solutions to fight against the health problems cause due to the direct exposure in construction industry,” said the environmentalist.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, DPCC challaned 14 construction sites of Delhi Metro and 48 other major construction sites including private builders for violating the dust control measures.
The DPCC also further informed that the third phase inspections were again taken up in respect of 48 sites where the construction activity was found in progress in first and second phase of drive.