New Delhi, Nov. 29 (PTI): The Center told the Supreme Court on Monday that it had reimposed the ban on construction activities in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) due to the deterioration of the air quality.
In an affidavit, the Department of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) told a bench led by Chief Justice NV Ramana that the Commission for the Management of Air Quality in the National Capital Region and Adjacent Areas called on the governments of the NCR states and the Delhi government to guarantee restrictions on construction activities with exceptions in accordance with its Nov. 24 decree.
The Supreme Court, in its order of November 24, reimposed the ban on construction activities in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) and ordered states to provide for workers from funds raised in labor title during the period in which these activities are prohibited.
“In the meantime, on a provisional basis and until further notice, we are reimposing the ban on construction activities in the NCR subject to the following two conditions: Non-polluting activities related to construction such as plumbing work, interior decoration, electrical work, and carpentry are allowed to be continued.
“States are to use the funds that have been collected under the labor tax for the welfare of construction workers to ensure their livelihood during the period in which construction activities are prohibited and to pay the wages notified. under the law on minimum wages for the respective categories of workers, the order had said.
The affidavit, filed in response to a plea calling for urgent action to improve Delhi-NCR’s air quality, argued that under its ordinance, detailed deliberations were held with experts from the Meteorological Department. of India and their associated organizations to explore the formulation of a statistical model for forecasting and activities related to air pollution and the development of an appropriate referral mechanism to deal with a poor quality scenario air.
“The Commission has set up a ‘group of experts’ with knowledge and data in the field of meteorological conditions affecting air quality, statistical modeling in addition to historical scientific data on parameters related to air quality. air quality in Delhi-NCR, to conduct a scientific study of air quality based on available data from previous years on recorded levels of air pollution with due regard to seasonal variations and other relevant parameters, ”he said.
The affidavit states that due to the extreme urgency of the matter, the expert group was requested to immediately convene its meeting and establish a roadmap for the accomplishment of the assigned tasks in accordance with the terms of reference.
The ministry said that to effectively tackle these seven key sources of pollution, as well as other less impacting sources of pollution, the Commission has held eight Plenary Commission meetings and issued 45 directives and 7 opinions to various bodies concerned with the issue. the NCR.
“The Commission has identified some major sectors contributing to air pollution in this region, namely: industrial and automobile pollution, burning of agricultural stubble, management of dust from construction and demolition activities, dust management of roads and open areas and biomass burning, municipal solid waste fires, fires in sanitary landfills, etc. “, did he declare.
The ministry said the Central Pollution Control Council deployed 24 dedicated teams from Nov. 20 to provide on-the-ground commentary on polluting activities.
“Regular feedback from these teams is passed through the ‘Sameer App’ developed by CPCB for reporting complaints, to the implementing agencies and has also been uploaded to the CPCB website to facilitate the speedy handling of complaints,” he said. he declared.
The affidavit indicated that the Commission regularly and scrupulously monitored and ensured compliance with the instructions issued by the supreme court, however, on the ground, some reports point to certain shortcomings in the implementation of the instructions.
“Thus, in the interest of justice and in the interest of the emerging need to improve air quality in the region, it is respectfully submitted that the respective state governments may be invited to submit their compliance report on the state of industries in the NCR running on any other fuel, other than PNG, the implementation of the ban on the use of diesel generators (DGs) among others, ”said the affidavit.