Delhi government lifts ban on construction and demolition activities, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate
Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) fell to 303 on a scale of 500 from 499 almost a week ago when a thick haze loomed over the city of over 200 million ‘residents. Current AQI levels still indicate “very bad” conditions, according to government monitoring agencies.
“Air quality is slowly improving,” Gopal Rai, Minister of Environment, Forests and Wildlife Development, said at a press conference. “The workers were facing difficulties, and that is why we decided to resume construction activities.”
He said authorities would monitor construction sites to ensure builders adhere to government-defined dust control measures.
In an interview with Reuters late last week, Rai said the city would consider restricting private vehicles to driving on alternate days if severe air pollution continued to plague the Indian capital.
In addition to banning construction, the city government has also closed schools and offices, allowing people to work from home.
Rai told the press conference that authorities would examine the city’s air quality on November 24 and then decide whether or not to reopen schools and offices.
“We are following closely,” said the minister. He also urged residents to use public transport.
Vehicle emissions contributed more than half of air pollution in Delhi between October 24 and November 24. 8, the Center for Science and Environment think tank said earlier this month.
The sweltering Delhi air has put more children in hospital with breathing problems, doctors said last week, and the government has shut down five power plants and extended school closures to contain the crisis.
Air quality deteriorates sharply during the winter months in Delhi, often ranked the most polluted capital in the world. Pollutants from the combustion of crop residues, transportation, industries and coal-fired power plants outside the city tend to be trapped when temperatures drop in winter.