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Business News/ News / India/  Amid Mumbai's worsening air quality, BMC warns to halt construction sites
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Amid Mumbai's worsening air quality, BMC warns to halt construction sites

Mumbai AQI exceeds 200, BMC warns to stop construction.

Amid worsening air quality in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued a warning that it will halt construction activities. (Representative Image) (AFP)Premium
Amid worsening air quality in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued a warning that it will halt construction activities. (Representative Image) (AFP)

Amid worsening air quality in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued a warning that it will halt construction activities, regardless of whether they are on private or government properties if proper dust and pollution control measures are not implemented, PTI reported.

“Construction is going on at a whopping 6,000 sites in the city currently", an official release quoted municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal as saying on Friday.

As reported by PTI, data from the Central Pollution Control Board revealed that the Air Quality Index (AQI) in various areas of the city exceeded 200 (categorized as "poor") during the day.

The release stated that Chahal, who is acting as administrator of the civic body as its elections are pending, held a meeting with all stakeholders in view of the alarming air pollution levels in the city.

Also Read: Mumbai air quality worsens, BMC undertakes pollution control measures

“At all these places (where construction is going on) dust and pollution-control measures should be implemented. Else, construction will be stopped, be it private or government work," he warned.

Ravi Raja, Congress leader and former leader of the opposition in the BMC, highlighted that Mumbai had the poorest Air Quality Index (AQI) among all Indian cities on Thursday.

Nevertheless, he expressed his dissatisfaction with the administration's failure to implement any of the pollution mitigation plan's recommendations.

“The city faced the same problem last year too and then the BMC released the Mumbai Air Pollution Mitigation Plan in March 2023. But it seems that not even one guideline was implemented," he said in a statement. Thousands of people are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and kids and elderly people are the worst sufferers, he said.

Also Read: Mumbai News: City braces for toxic air with ‘poor’ AQI, PM10 level worse than Delhi

In the meantime, the BMC's official statement indicated that they will be issuing standard operating procedures (SOPs) or guidelines aimed at improving air quality, with a planned release date of Monday.

“At the meeting, Chahal suggested various measures like compulsory use of 35-feet high iron sheet enclosures around construction sites and covering under-construction buildings with green cloth or jute sheets on all sides. Sprinkler systems should be provided at all construction sites within 15 days and anti-smog guns should be provided within 30 days", the release said.

The civic body is also going to operate anti-smog guns on 50 to 60 major roads, the release said.

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and the BMC would depute experts to verify the level of pollution caused by refineries in the city, Tata Power plant and RCF plant and check these sites for pollution control measures, it said.

Also Read: Its Mumbai vs Delhi again! Financial capital beats National capital on air pollution as THESE areas record very poor AQI

"Random samples shall be collected by the experts from these installations on a regular basis and they shall be chemically analysed to ensure that no pollution is caused by these plants," the release said.

Air quality in the Mumbai region worsened barely two weeks after the end of monsoon, the BMC noted, and added that the central and Maharashtra governments have also taken note of it.

"Climate change is adversely affecting the air quality of the Mumbai metropolitan area, including the Mumbai region," the release added.

Government agencies executing metro, road and other projects must enclose their construction sites and provide sprinkler systems and anti-smog guns, the BMC said.

Chahal instructed that vehicles transporting construction debris shall be covered properly with tarpaulin sheets and not carry more than the prescribed load. The transport commissioner's office should take stringent action against vehicles which are past their service life, do not have a Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate or are overloading, the release said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published: 21 Oct 2023, 09:26 AM IST
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