New Delhi, Oct 10 : The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on Saturday imposed a fine of Rs 20 lakh on the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) for flouting environmental norms during a demolition activity amid the deteriorating air quality in the national capital.
The hefty fine was levied after DPCC received a no compliance report from FICCI on the installation of an anti-smog gun (ASG) for controlling dust pollution. The DPCC has also directed it not to restart the demolition activity without installation of the gun.
During the inspection on October 9, the pollution control board observed that no anti-smog gun has been installed, demolished debris has not been covered, and unpaved surfaces are not sprinkled with water. Also, no data on waste generated from demolition, construction and recycling has been kept.
It also found that the site is not fitted with fine water spraying nozzle system or vehicle wheel washing facility, no dust mask has been provided to the workers and no continuous wind breaking walls are provided with adequate height at certain places.
The DPCC has now directed the federation to not carry out or restart any demolition activity without installing the anti-smog gun, an undertaking for which has to be submitted within seven days.
FICCI has also been asked to take adequate measures to rectify the deficiencies observed during the inspection and submit a compliance report in a weeks’ time.
“You shall deposit environmental compensation (EC) of Rs 20,00,000 by way of demand draft in favour of Delhi Pollution Control Committee within 15 days,” the pollution board said.
The DPCC said that non-compliance of the directions will attract penal action as per the provisions of the Air Act, 1981.
The National Green Tribunal has, in multiple orders, observed that one of the major sources of air pollution is demolition and construction activity going on in Delhi without taking adequate measures for mitigation of dust pollution.
This comes at a time when the air quality of the national capital is deteriorating. The AQI of Delhi plummeted to 221 and stood in ‘poor’ category on Saturday, a day after improving a notch, with West Delhi recording the most polluted air, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.
As per the CPCB, out of 35 pollution monitoring stations, the air quality index in as many as 24 stations is in the ‘poor’ category, while 10 stations recorded the index in the ‘moderate’ category. One was non-functional.
The area near West Delhi’s Mundka recorded the highest AQI at 286.
The System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) categorises air quality in the 0-50 range as good, 51-100 as satisfactory, 101-200 as moderate, 201-300 as poor, 301-400 as very poor and above 400 as severe.
Delhi’s neighbouring areas, including Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Meerut and Gurugram, have also recorded poor quality of air. Ghaziabad’s air is currently the most polluted among all.