Lt Governor Najeeb Jung lifts ban on construction in Delhi


New Delhi: Lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung extended the no-entry hours for trucks coming into the capital till midnight while lifting the ban on constructions, even as the city's air quality showed signs of improving due to a combination of good weather and the anti-pollution measures implemented.

The orders, were issued at an air pollution review meeting chaired by the lieutenant governor on Tuesday. The enhanced restrictions on entry of trucks will be valid till January 31, 2017.

The LG asked for an immediate lifting of the ban on construction and demolition activity, saying it was hurting daily wage labourers. Meanwhile, Delhi Pollution Control Committee reported that PM 10 levels had fallen by 33% in the past two weeks while PM 2.5 recorded a 25% fall in the same period.

Since November 14, when the decision was taken to ban constructions, the government and various agencies have collected Rs 1.5 crore in fine. Action was taken by the corporations, DPCC, traffic police and revenue department. A total of 2,651 challans were issued.

The LG has asked the agencies to ensure that dust control measures are followed at all construction sites. The transport department reported that 763 diesel vehicles that were older than 15 years have been deregistered while challans have been issued against 1,795 vehicles. The notification to ban them was issued last week.

The LG has directed DDA to loan space to traffic police for temporary parking of impounded vehicles and has asked traffic police to submit a comprehensive plan on scrapping such vehicles, to be submitted during the next review meeting. Traffic police has also stopped 2,625, or 90% of nondestined vehicles, from entering the city. It has also challaned 3,033 visibly polluting vehicles and those found without pollution under check certificates. 

Another 164 vehicles have been challaned for overloading.Meanwhile, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation said, other than a single incident on November 10, no further fires have been reported from the Bhalaswa landfill site. The environment department issued a public notice on November 9 for closure of polluting industries in both conforming and non-confirming areas. DPCC has since then shut 179 units. 

The East Delhi corporation has also closed 13 polluting industries and issued 196 challans. The ban on use of firecrackers, especially during the marriage season, will continue to remain in force while use of diesel generator sets, including for marriages, will not be allowed. Vacuum cleaning of roads is being carried out in NDMC areas while PWD is in the process of acquiring machines.

Delhi government has launched a Swachh Delhi app to receive complaints against open burning. It has received 700 complaints so far. Two whatsapp groups have also been created for complaints.