The Central Pollution Control Board has threatened to fine the National Highways Authority of India Rs 1 crore for not clearing construction and demolition waste, and not taking steps to combat dust pollution along the Delhi-Meerut Expressway. In a letter dated June 11, the pollution control board accused the highway authority of dumping construction waste in the Ghazipur vegetable market, The Hindu reported on Friday.
In its letter, the board said the construction material and excavated soil were being kept without any cover along the roadside. It added that there was “no display arrangement for construction and demolition waste management”.
“Air polluting activities and improper management of waste are again taking place due to negligence on the part of the NHAI,” the notice said, according to The Times of India. “This is contributing significantly to ambient-particulate matter pollution.”
Last October, the Central Pollution Control Board had ordered the government agency to stop construction as dust was causing severe air pollution. The June 11 letter said that in May a team of the pollution control authority again noticed that the highway authority was being lax with implementing pollution control norms.
In 2017, a Graded Response Action Plan was put into action to combat air pollution following a Supreme Court directive. Last year, the board told the Supreme Court that citizens mostly complained about construction waste being improperly dumped or left uncovered.
Delhi has faced severe air pollution over the last couple of years. On Friday, the Air Quality Index stood at 177, a “moderate” level, the pollution control board said.