Central Vista Redevelopment Work following non-polluting norms: Centre to SC

While hearing a plea seeking steps to rein in air pollution in the national capital earlier this week, the Supreme Court had asked the Central government to explain what it was doing about construction activities in areas in its jurisdiction.

Central Vista, construction
The Director, Central Vista, in an affidavit filed in the top court, said that with regard to these projects, the government has taken all the measures as contemplated under the Construction and Demolition, Waste Management Rules.

To ensure that the construction does not cause any pollution, the development of the new Parliament building and redevelopment of the Central Vista avenue is being done complying with the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules’ each and every condition, the Central government told the Supreme Court on Wednesday. The Director, Central Vista, in an affidavit filed in the top court, said that with regard to these projects, the government has taken all the measures as contemplated under the Construction and Demolition, Waste Management Rules that inter-alia include measures such as the use of anti-smog gun, mist spray system, use of conveyor belt to transfer construction material, use of dust suppressant like magnesium chloride, keeping all construction material in wet condition, etc., according to an IE report.

While hearing a plea seeking steps to rein in air pollution in the national capital earlier this week, the Supreme Court had asked the Central government to explain what it was doing about construction activities in areas in its jurisdiction. Replying to this, the affidavit said at present, construction works undertaken by the centre are in two parts- new Parliament building and Central Vista avenues as well as Railways, Metro, Airports, Interstate Bus Terminals, etc. Apart from these, all other construction works being undertaken by CPWD in Delhi-NCR, as per the CPWD Report, were stopped in compliance with the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas’ directions, it further added.

In a bid to tackle rising pollution levels, the Commission had directed National Capital Region states and the Delhi Government on November 16 to ensure to stop construction and demolition activities till November 21. However, it exempted work in connection with railway stations/services, metro rail services including airports, stations and ISBTs other than defence/national security-related activities or projects of national importance from the purview of the ban “subject to strict compliance of the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules as well as dust control norms including compliance with the directions of the Commission.

Environment Minister of Delhi Gopal Rai has directed DPCC to issue notices to CPWD for continuing construction at the Central Vista site despite the ban as well as for violating dust mitigation norms. On Wednesday, Gopal Rai visited the Central Vista site for an inspection, after receiving complaints about construction progressing despite a ban on construction and demolition activities. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee has been directed to issue two separate notices — one notice to be issued for the construction ban violation, and another notice for anti-dust guidelines’ violation. By Thursday, the CPWD will be required to respond to these notices, and depending on the response, further action is likely to be taken, according to Rai.

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