The Delhi government has proposed new guidelines to control dust pollution which will involve installation of three real-time monitors and CCTV cameras at every construction site larger than 20,000 square metres.
The data from the real-time particulate monitor will be directly sent to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), which will alert the project proponent if the pollutant concentration crosses the defined threshold.
A penalty will be imposed if the project proponent doesn't take remedial measures. The fine will be increased if no action is taken within a stipulated time period, according to the draft guidelines.
The DPCC will issue an order to stop work at the site if no remedial action is taken within 24 hours of the first warning.
The guidelines said the pollution control body will also revoke the environmental clearance granted to the project if "any tampering of equipment or data is identified".
The proposed rules require all project proponents to submit a bank guarantee to the DPCC, which will be equal to one percent of their project cost. This guarantee can be invoked to recover environmental damage during the execution of the project.
The government had formed a seven-member committee, which has members from the DPCC, IIT-Delhi, DMRC, DIAL and TERI, to explore the feasibility of a proposal to monitor dust emissions at construction sites and assess its impact on nearby areas.
The committee suggested that reference-grade analysers be used to initiate the monitoring process.
The project proponent will have to install three real-time monitors, one in the upwind direction and two in the downwind direction. These will be installed at a height of five to seven metres to avoid local impact.
"Video surveillance is also necessary to know the source within the construction site ...a required number of video cameras should be installed by the project proponent," the proposed guidelines read.
Display boards are required to be installed at each construction site to keep the neighbourhood informed about the ambient air quality status.
According to the guidelines, the air quality data generated by on-site analysers will be compared with data from Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS).
The DPCC will use software with standardised rules to determine the difference in the pollutant concentration at the construction site and the particulate level at the nearest CAAQMS.
If the hourly-average value of PM2.5 and PM10 at the construction site is greater than the level at the nearest CAAQMS, an automated warning will be sent out to the project proponent to identify the source and take remedial measures within a "cure period" of three hours.
If no action is taken in this period, a penalty, which will be equal to 10 percent of the bank guarantee, or of Rs 1 lakh (whichever is higher) will be imposed.
In case of no action in the next three hours, a penalty, equal to 20 percent of the bank guarantee or Rs 3 lakh, will be imposed on the project proponent.