Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday said the ban on construction and the entry of trucks, barring CNG, e-trucks and those engaged in essential services, will continue till further orders in view of a forecast about further deterioration of air quality in the national capital.
The government will review the construction ban on December 16, Rai told reporters after a meeting with officials of departments concerned. The minister said the education department has sent a proposal to the environment department, seeking immediate reopening of schools and coaching centres for students in Class 6 and above, and in colleges.
For children of Class 5 and below, the education department has suggested reopening schools from December 20, he said.
The proposal will be sent to the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), which has been mandated by the Supreme Court to take a call on the reopening of schools and colleges, Rai said. He said many agencies have made verbal requests to lift the ban on construction and demolition activities. ”We have directed them to write an application to us and the CAQM. We will hold a review meeting in this regard on December 16,” Rai said. The minister said Delhi’s air quality index remained between 250 and 325 from December 1 to December 12. But experts have forecast a slight deterioration of air quality in the next three days, he said. The water sprinkling drive to control dust pollution will continue and necessary directions have been issued to the fire department, civic bodies and other departments, Rai said.
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Under the anti-dust campaign, 6,953 sites have been inspected and fines of Rs 1.65 crore has been imposed for violations at 597 sites.
Under the anti-burning campaign, 16,580 sites have been inspected and a cumulative fine of Rs 46 lakh has been imposed for violations at 2,490 sites, Rai said.
The environment department has received 6,975 pollution-related complaints on the Green Delhi application since October, of which 81 per cent have been resolved.
The maximum number of complaints have been received from the South Delhi Municipal Corporation area, the minister said.
Around 19.50 lakh pollution-under-control certificates have been checked in the capital and 49,000 vehicles have been challaned.