Pune: PCMC Commissioner Lifts Construction Ban Following Successful Air Quality Measures

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Pimpri, 17th November 2023: Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s Commissioner Shekhar Singh has lifted the temporary construction ban imposed earlier to mitigate air pollution in the city. The ban, initially ordered on November 13 and effective until November 19, successfully contributed to improving air quality. The Municipal Corporation implemented stringent measures against violators during this period, resulting in a notable reduction in air pollution levels.

The temporary ban was in response to a petition filed in the Bombay High Court regarding air pollution. As per the court’s order, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board devised a Graded Response Action Plan, which Commissioner Shekhar Singh promptly implemented. The order mandated the closure of all constructions and the implementation of noise and dust control measures at construction sites.

Several large construction projects in the city were identified as contributors to air and noise pollution, prompting numerous complaints to the Municipal Corporation. In response, the Corporation is set to take a holistic approach to address air quality concerns across all construction projects in the city.

Key Measures by the Municipal Corporation:

1) Funds Allocation: The Municipal Corporation has allocated funds, as sanctioned by the 15th Central Finance Commission, for air quality improvement, conservation, water supply management, and efficient solid waste management.

2) City Action Plan: The Municipal Corporation’s City Action Plan under the National Clean Air Mission has been approved by the Central Pollution Control Board.

3) Road Cleaning: To reduce dust particles on city roads, two vehicles equipped with road washer systems are regularly cleaning the roads.

4) Movable Fog Cannon Dust Suppression System: Installed on five vehicles, this system aims to reduce air pollution at main intersections by suppressing dust.

5) AQI Improvement: Sprinkling water on construction sites and related vehicles, coupled with construction site closures, has led to a significant drop in the Air Quality Index (AQI) over the last three days.

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While the ban on construction has been lifted following the success of these measures, Commissioner Shekhar Singh emphasizes caution. Construction companies are instructed to monitor air quality levels and implement necessary measures to prevent any deterioration in AQI levels.

The Commissioner has outlined specific remedies that construction companies are required to adhere to, including the planting of tall leafy boundaries, preventing dust pollution on unpaved roads, using tarpaulin on construction exteriors, and maintaining sound levels within prescribed limits.