Environmental experts are concerned that the national capital’s pollution level will add up this winter due to the ongoing construction of the Central Vista Avenue project at the heart of New Delhi. However, contractors of the project say they have put in place measures to curb the pollution at the site.
An official of Shapoorji Pallonji Engineering and Construction, the company that won the tender for the redevelopment of Central Vista Avenue told an agency that the project site is equipped with around 12 measures to curb pollution. “At the Central Vista Avenue project site in New Delhi, we implemented multiple steps, in addition to the mandatory health, safety and environment measures,” the official said.
“We have installed dust/wind-breaking walls, anti-smog gun, wheel wash facility, at the construction site. We have also covered soil/sand and made appropriate storage of construction and demotion waste along with other steps to curb the pollution,” he added.
As a recent addition, an ambient air quality monitoring at the site is being carried out on a weekly basis through a National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited agency along with using pocket monitoring meters for daily checks and records.
However, despite the multiple measures, several environmental experts believe with that the scale of the construction work underway at the Central Vista Avenue project site, it will be difficult to control the pollution.
Manu Singh, an environmental expert said, “Any kind of large scale construction would create a lot of dust particles that will not only accelerate the process of smog but also increase the level of pollutants like particulate matter (pm) 2.5 and pm 1.0.”
“When the air doldrums effect is going on it would be advisable to hold the exterior works (that creates dust) till airflow resumes,” he added.
In recent years with air pollution scaling above the air quality index (AQI) category “severe”, governments are giving special attention to construction sites that generate dust on temporary road surfaces. Construction sites are also said to be the most prominent source of air pollution along with vehicular pollution.
Currently, the Central Vista and the Pragati Maidan redevelopment are two major projects going on in the national capital.
In August, Delhi Environmental Minister, Gopal Rai met the construction agency of the Central Vista project and asked them to implement dust management guidelines.
Along with Shapoorji Pallonji Group, Tata Projects Limited is tasked with the construction of the new Parliament complex.