New Delhi, Dec 1 (SocialNews.XYZ) Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Wednesday issued two separate notices to the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) for carrying out construction work at the Central Vista construction site despite a blanket ban on all construction and demolition (C&D) activities in the wake of bad air quality in the national capital.
"We were repeatedly getting calls informing us that despite the ban, construction activities were in full swing at the Central Vista site. Hence we have come here today for an inspection, and can see what all work is in progress here, in spite of the ban on construction and demolition activities in Delhi. Keeping this violation in mind, we are issuing notice to CPWD to ask them on what basis and on whose orders are they still operating," Rai said in a statement.
The minister has since ordered Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to issue two separate notices to the concerned agency CPWD - one, for ignoring the ban which was imposed to reduce pollution in the city and two, for violating anti-dust guidelines while construction is in full swing.
"CPWD must respond to these notices by tomorrow and further action will be taken on the basis of their response," he informed.
On November 29, the Delhi government banned all construction and demolition activities in the national capital till further orders to curb the rising level of air pollution after the Supreme Court re-imposed an interim ban on these activities on November 24.
Rai further said that he is hopeful that Delhi's Air Quality Index (AQI) will improve with change in weather. "November's increased pollution levels have a variety of reasons. This month saw both Diwali pollution - illegal cracker burning among increased travel, and stubble burning around Delhi which significantly contributed to the intensity of pollution. Third, as we can now observe, the reduction in wind speed - which brought the dust and pollutants in the air to settle. Now with a change in weather, we will see the condition improve," he added.
In the meantime, the Centre has told the Supreme Court that the construction activities for the parliamentary building and the Central Vista avenue site complies with construction and demolition waste management rules, and it does not cause any pollution. The Centre said the new Parliament building and Central Vista avenue are projects of national importance.
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to explain within two days, why Central Vista project construction should carry on, despite severe air pollution in the capital. Senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing the petitioner Aditya Dubey, had urged a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana to stop construction activities at the project site.