The Delhi government decided on Friday to deduct the salary of executive engineers of the PWD and other agencies if they fail to remove garbage and construction waste from areas under their control.
Charing a high-level meeting, Chief Secretary Vijay Dev directed the departments concerned and municipal corporations that action plans regarding the city's 13 pollution hotspots be accorded the highest priority and action points completed within two weeks.
Dev directed that the construction and demolition (C&D) waste, as well as garbage dumped around these hotspots be cleared within 24 hours and day-and-night patrolling intensified to prevent further illegal dumping.
An official who attended the meeting said,
“It was decided that executive engineers of PWD and other agencies, who are negligent in getting the dumps (of waste) removed from the roads and areas under their control, should be held personally responsible and appropriate deduction from their salary be effected to send a clear signal that negligence in such emergent situation will not be tolerated.”
Dev directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to penalise both the private and government agencies "responsible for creation of illegal dumps" in areas falling under their jurisdiction.
The DPCC has already imposed fines up to Rs 12.5 crore on both private and government agencies.
The chief secretary also directed the civic bodies to use chemical suppressants recommended by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to prevent road dust re-suspensions.
More than 300 water sprinklers have been procured by the municipal bodies. They have been directed to use the machines effectively along the major corridors and around the 13 hotspots, the official said.
If required, additional water sprinklers can be hired on a priority basis, he added.
A DPCC official said it has carried out inspections and prepared inventory of sites where garbage and demolition waste were found strewn around. The lists have been forwarded to the respective municipal corporations, PWD and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to clear these dumps.
When pointed out that the Public Works Department (PWD) has been relatively slack in clearing the C&D waste dumped on roads, the chief secretary directed it to get its act together and clear the illegal dumps.
Two days before Diwali, Delhi’s air quality dropped to the season’s worst on Friday, with the decreased wind speed leading to the accumulation of pollutants and affecting dispersion.
The city's overall air quality index (AQI) fluctuated between 284 and 315 on Friday. Most of the places in the capital recorded the AQI in the "very poor" category, while the situation inched towards "severe" in some areas.
The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority also banned construction work at night in the Delhi-NCR from October 26-30 and closure of industries that have not switched to piped natural gas during the period.
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