NGT moves to stop pol­lu­tion in build­ing sites

Builders will now have to cover con­struc­tion ma­te­rial with tar­pau­lin sheets, not dump sand on roads and pro­vide site work­ers with masks

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Su­nil Tyagi

Rapid ur­ban­i­sa­tion and in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment has led to un­abated con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity. Mas­sive projects are be­ing un­der­taken for in­fra­struc­ture, com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment. In res­i­den­tial colonies, sin­gle­storey houses are ei­ther be­ing con­verted to multi-storey flats or be­ing ren­o­vated.

It is com­mon prac­tice to pile waste and con­struc­tion ma­te­rial on the road which ob­structs free flow of traf­fic lead­ing to traf­fic con­ges­tion. Dust emis­sions from con­struc­tion ma­te­rial and con- struc­tion and de­mo­li­tion waste also pol­lute the air.

Re­cently, the Na­tional Green Tri­bunal (NGT), in a mat­ter filed be­fore it, dealt with the is­sue of dust emis­sions em­a­nat­ing from build­ing con­struc­tion, trans­porta­tion of con­struc­tion and de­mo­li­tion (C&D) waste ma­te­ri­als.

NGT then passed an or­der giv­ing di­rec­tions to be fol­lowed by all those car­ry­ing out any con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity for pre­vent­ing and con­trol­ling air pol­lu­tion re­sult­ing from emis­sion of dust in the at­mo­sphere. A few of th­ese di­rec­tions are as fol­lows:

Builders or home own­ers have to put tar­pau­lin sheets on scaf­fold­ing around the area of con­struc­tion and the build­ing. No per­son, in­clud­ing builder or owner can be per­mit­ted to store any con­struc­tion ma­te­rial, par­tic­u­larly sand, on any part of the street, roads in any colony. Con­struc­tion ma­te­rial of any kind at the site has to be fully cov­ered in all re­spects so that it does not dis­perse in the air in any form.

All con­struc­tion ma­te­rial and de­bris shall be car­ried in trucks or other ve­hi­cles which are fully cov­ered and pro­tected to en­sure that the con­struc­tion de­bris or ma­te­rial does not get dis­persed in the air or at­mo­sphere, in any form what­so­ever.

The dust emis­sions from the con­struc­tion site should be com­pletely con­trolled and all pre­cau­tions taken

All work­ers at the con­struc­tion site and in­volved in load­ing, un­load­ing and car­riage of con­struc­tion ma­te­rial and con­struc­tion de­bris shall be pro­vided with masks to pre­vent in­hala­tion of dust par­ti­cles. Ev­ery owner and or builder shall be under obli­ga­tion to pro­vide all med­i­cal help, in­ves­ti­ga­tion and treat­ment to the work­ers in­volved in the con­struc­tion of build­ing and car­ry­ing con­struc­tion ma­te­rial and de­bris re­lat­able to dust emis­sion.

It shall be the re­spon­si­bil­ity of ev­ery builder to trans­port con­struc­tion ma­te­rial and de­bris waste to con­struc­tion site, dump­ing site or any other place in ac­cor­dance with rules. Builders should take ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures and strictly com­ply with rules by fix­ing sprin­klers and cre­at­ing green air bar­ri­ers. Com­pul­sory use of wet jets in grind­ing and stone cut­ting. Use of wind break­ing walls around con­struc­tion site. In ad­di­tion to th­ese direc tions, it has also been ex­plic­itly men­tioned in the or­der that if any per­son, home owner and builder is found to be vi­o­lat­ing any of the above men­tioned as well as other con­di­tions stated in the or­der, such per­son, owner, builder shall be li­able to pay com­pen­sa­tion of ₹ 50,000 per de­fault in re­la­tion to con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity at its site and ₹ 5,000 for each vi­o­la­tion dur­ing car­riage and trans­porta­tion of con­struc­tion ma­te­rial, de­bris on trucks or other ve­hi­cles. It has also been spec­i­fied that th­ese penal­ties are in ad­di­tion to any other ac­tion that the con­cerned author­ity may take against such builder, owner, per­son and trans­porter under the laws in force.

While NGT has is­sued th­ese di­rec­tions and pre­scribed penal­ties to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment against air pol­lu­tion, com­pli­ance de­pends on the will­ing­ness to fol­low th­ese and aware­ness about the rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of all stake­hold­ers.

The pro­tec­tion of en­vi­ron­ment is a so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity. If the rapid de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­ity is car­ried out with­out pay­ing any at­ten­tion to the ad­verse im­pact then it may lead to dis­as­trous con­se­quences not only on the en­vi­ron­ment but also on the pub­lic at large.


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