Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Monday issued guidelines prohibiting the sale, storage, loading and unloading of construction material on the roadside. Asserting that dust emissions from construction impacted the environmental quality both “on-site and off-site”, the CPCB following the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) directions came up with the fresh guidelines for construction and demolition activities. The green court’s directions came in the wake of alarming pollution levels here after which construction activities were banned for a week from November 7 onwards. Under the fresh guidelines, the CPCB also ordered the identification of the transport routes for carrying construction material or wastes “to avoid residential, schools, institutional and hospital areas”. The CPCB also said that demand for construction material at the site should synchronize with its utilization, so that the storage period of unused construction material is minimal, thereby reducing dust dispersal.
“Loading, unloading (dumping), storage and sale of construction material for use in on-going projects on public roadsides is prohibited,” read the CPCB report on addressing dust pollution during handling of construction material and construction and demolition (C&D) wastes, on-site and off-site. The report also suggests vacuum sweeping to replace dry-sweeping, and water sprinkling, among other measures. “Dumping (unloading) and disposal of C&D wastes on non-designated sites (ex-roadsides, vacant plots, water bodies, drains etc) be prohibited,” the report stated. To control off-site emissions caused by the C&D activities, CPCB directed all builders and contractors to submit an undertaking to the concerned government department on measures adopted to control dust.
The CPCB guidelines also asked the contractors to display on boards at the construction sites that they have adopted the dust control measures. “Contractors, builders, sellers, related stakeholders prohibited from storing, dumping, C&D wastes, construction material on metalled (pucca) roads as it obstructs traffic flow — a case of encroachment inviting penalties,” the report stated. The report said that dust generated during handling, both loading and unloading of construction materials, would release a wide range of particle sizes and material types that could affect health and cause problems ranging from eye, nose and throat irritation besides affecting the respiratory system.
“Workers at sites of construction, demolition, loading, uploading activities are to be provided with face masks to prevent inhalation of fine dust,” the CPCB said. It also ordered the use of covering sheets (plastic, tarpaulin, etc.) on construction material heaps that can easily become air borne, C&D debris that is dumped at temporary storage sites, adequate covering of construction works, particularly side-facing residential areas.