Representative image of Central Vista Project: (Image: Twitter/@PMOIndia)
The Delhi government will issue notice to the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) for carrying out construction work and violating dust control norms at the Central Vista project site despite the ongoing ban on construction activities, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on December 1.
After carrying out a surprise inspection of the Central Vista, Rai has ordered Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to issue two separate notices to the CPWD – for ignoring the ban that was imposed to reduce pollution in the city and for violating anti-dust guidelines while construction is in full swing.
"CPWD must respond to these notices by tomorrow and further action will be taken on the basis of their response," said Rai.
“We were repeatedly getting calls informing us that despite the ban, construction activities were in full swing at the Central Vista site. Hence we have come here today for an inspection, and can see what all work is in process here, in spite of the ban on construction and demolition activities in Delhi," he said.
CPWD has to answer on what basis and on whose orders the work is going on at the Central Vista project site despite the ban, he added.
“Additionally, we can see blatant violation of the 14 anti-dust pollution guidelines, for which we will issue another notice. This will be done in order to ensure that all the guidelines and norms to keep dust pollution under control are followed and water sprinkling is done wherever there is excessive dust in the air. So one notice will be issued to CPWD for violating the ban and its construction work, and the second for violating anti-dust pollution guidelines. On the basis of their response, we will take further action. The CPWD and concerned authorities are expected to respond by tomorrow at the latest,” Rai said.
Speaking about the government’s efforts to curb pollution, Rai said, "It is noteworthy that in view of the pollution, the Delhi Government has banned the construction works till further orders. Along with this, there is a ban on the entry of trucks in Delhi till December 7, while CNG-electric trucks carrying essential commodities may enter the city."
To reduce vehicular pollution, the third phase of the 'Red Light On Gaadi Off' campaign will be run till December 18 and the drive to check the vehicles causing pollution will continue, he added.
Meanwhile, according to a report from the Bar and Bench, the Central government has informed the Supreme Court that all construction activities in Delhi by the CPWD have been halted in compliance with the directions of the top court to curb air pollution, except the Central Vista redevelopment which is a project of "national importance."
The present reply by the Central government came after the top court had on November 29, asked Central and State governments to report compliance with the directions to curb pollution.