In view of improvement in air quality, the Delhi govt has lifted the ban on construction and demolition activities, Environment minister Gopal Rai said on Monday. If any agency is found violating dust control norms, the Delhi govt will stop work and impose a penalty without notice, Rai added. The decision comes after a high-level meeting to review the curbs imposed to contain high pollution levels in the city.
Speaking on the reopening of schools, work from home for Delhi govt staff and the ban on entry of trucks in the national capital, Rai said a decision in this regard will be made later.
“Will take call on reopening of schools, work from home for Delhi govt staff, truck entry on Nov 24,” Gopal Rai said today.
The environment minister also said 1,000 private CNG-operated buses have been hired, which will have ‘Prayavaran Bus Sewa’ written on them.
In an order, the Delhi government had imposed a blanket ban on the construction and demolition activities in the national capital, in the wake of deteriorating air quality and to curb pollution caused by dust. A construction workers’ body had also moved the Supreme Court seeking ex-gratia relief schemes for daily workers who will suffer loss of income due to the sudden complete ban.
The plea said the ban on construction without due notice and publicity leaves the workers completely insecure and unaware, making them ideal fodder for harassment by the implementing agencies.
Delhi’s air quality improves
Meanwhile, strong surface winds brought some relief from high pollution levels in Delhi and improved visibility on Monday morning. The air quality index of the city stood at 307, which falls in the very poor category. However, it was down from 349 the previous day. The air quality index of Gurugram, Greater Noida, Faridabad and Noida stood at 318, 213, 326 and 268 respectively.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered good, 51 and 100 satisfactory, 101 and 200 moderate, 201 and 300 poor, 301 and 400 very poor, and 401 and 500 severe.
Winds gusting up to 20 kmph swept through the city, dispersing pollutants partially and improving visibility.
The minimum temperature on Monday was recorded at 12 degrees Celsius, normal for this time of the year.