Builders Face Heavy Fines as Authorities Crack Down on Construction Violations Amid Rising Pollution
The Delhi National Capital Region is grappling with escalating air pollution, triggering robust enforcement actions against violations. Stringent measures have been taken against real estate builders, with penalties exceeding Rs 1.2 crore for defying the ban on construction activities.
On November 5, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) invoked stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), imposing a comprehensive ban on construction, burning of garbage, and restricting the movement of diesel trucks and heavy vehicles. Earlier, on November 3, GRAP stage III had enforced a ban on non-essential construction activities. The severity of GRAP action corresponds to four pollution stages: 'poor,' 'very poor,' 'severe,' and 'severe plus.'
Enforcement teams in Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, and Gurugram are actively monitoring compliance, especially regarding construction and demolition activities. In Noida alone, the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has deployed 14 teams to ensure adherence to GRAP norms, issuing penalties amounting to Rs 1 crore against builders for pollution control norm violations.
Approximately 200 construction sites in Greater Noida and Ghaziabad have halted activities in response to the construction ban. Despite these measures, the air quality in the region remains in the 'very poor' category, with an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 361 on Tuesday morning, a slight improvement from the previous evening's severe category AQI of 403.
In Greater Noida, eight teams are actively monitoring violations, leading to the issuance of penalties ranging from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh against real estate developers. The vigilance will persist until further orders.
Gurugram's District Town and Country Planning (DTCP) department has taken a multifaceted approach, forming enforcement squads and establishing a helpline for residents to report ongoing construction activities. Complaints lodged via the helpline trigger inspections, and penalties totaling Rs 2.5 lakh have been issued against 10 developers.
Amid these strict measures, the DTCP has issued advisories to builders, urging compliance with pollution control guidelines. The concerted efforts aim to curb pollution and mitigate the impact of air pollution on the health and well-being of residents in the Delhi NCR region.