Bengaluru builders to obey NGT orders
Taking a decisive step towards combating the problem of dust from construction activities polluting the air in major cities, the Karnataka government has issued a slew of directives to builders and road/rail developers to ensure that the 2016 National Green Tribunal (NGT) norms on dust pollution are properly implemented in Bengaluru.
It directed road development agencies like BBMP, BDA, BMRCL, PWD and real estate developers to ensure regular watering at construction sites, use covered trucks to carry construction material, use tarpaulin covers at under-construction sites, besides a ban on throwing construction material, particularly sand, on roads or inside colonies.
According to the guidelines, builders have been asked to take measures such as fixing sprinklers, creating green air barriers, and compulsorily use wet-jets in grinding and stone cutting around construction sites. Owners and builders found violating dust control measures will have to cough up a fine of Rs 50,000.
“Construction work, be it on public projects or private, seems to be never ending and makes Bengaluru dusty, besides exposing workers on site and the public to respiratory ills. We have instructed officials to ensure strict compliance with NGT guidelines on dust pollution and burning of garbage in city/vacant plots,” Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) chairman Lakshman said.
On an average, Bengaluru generates 3,000MT of construction and demolition (C&D) waste every day. Under the rules, littering or obstruction of public drains, water bodies, traffic and direct dumping of C&D waste in landfill sites will be prohibited. Permission for construction or any other infrastructure activity will not be given unless waste generators submit specific plans to local authorities on how they will dispose of the waste.
“Road contractors or builders will be under obligation to mandatorily provide masks to every worker on the construction site, or those engaged in loading and unloading of building material,” said a senior KSPCB official.
Builders in Bengaluru say they are serious about mitigating pollution. Said R Nagaraj, chairman and managing director, Zonasha Projects: “It is a good move as it helps all real estate players to be conscious of their surroundings. Big builders won’t really feel the heat but smaller builders might get affected in the long run if they don’t take the suggested measures.”