NGT questions Delhi govt's decision to lift construction ban

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has questioned the decision of Delhi Lieutenent Governor Najeeb Jung, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to lift the ban on housing construction in the National Capital Region imposed in the wake of extreme air pollution.

The NGT also asked the Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to clarify the Delhi administration's stand on waste burning and its management.

On Tuesday, after the Delhi Pollution Committee recorded a 30-per cent fall in the particulate matter (PM) 10 levels and a 25 per cent fall in PM 2.5 levels, L-G Jung lifted the ban imposed on construction and demolition activities in the city.

"In view of the loss of income to daily wage labourers and the labouring class, ban on construction / demolition to be lifted forthwith," a statement issued by the Raj Bhawan said. However, it had directed that the DPCC guidelines for minimizing dust in construction sites must be strictly adhered to.

Special Commissioner of police, Traffic informed that following his order, construction work was stopped at 539 sites and 29 cases were registered by the department.

The Delhi administration had collected over Rs1.5 crore in revenue from violators of construction/demolition activities in the last one week.

Jung had, on 7 November, held an emergency review meeting after the air quality in the national capital touched an alarming 999 micrograms of particulate matter per cubic meter in some areas, which is more than 15-16 times the limit considered safe.