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Delhi air pollution: Ban on construction, demolition activities to continue till further orders

CNG and electric trucks will be allowed to enter Delhi

INDIA-ENVIRONMENT-POLLUTION-TRANSPORT People commute along a street amid smoggy conditions in New Delhi | PTI

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai, on Monday, said a ban on construction and demolition activities in the city will continue till further orders because of the high air pollution levels.

The ban on the entry of trucks, barring those engaged in essential services, will continue till December 7, while CNG and electric trucks will be allowed to enter Delhi, he said after a review meeting with officials of the departments concerned.

According to experts, low temperature and low wind speed have led to stagnant conditions and Delhi's air quality is likely to remain very poor in the coming days. The situation can improve if it rains, as predicted by the India Meteorological Department, the minister said.

"Considering the situation, we have decided to extend the ban on construction and demolition activities in Delhi till further orders. Non-polluting construction activities such as plumbing work, interior decoration, electrical work and carpentry are allowed," he said.

Rai said the government's 'Red Light On, Gaadi Off' campaign to curb vehicular pollution is being extended till December 18.

The Delhi government had, on Thursday, re-imposed the ban on construction and demolition activities following the Supreme Court order in this matter.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said the workers affected by the ban on construction activities in the national capital will be provided with a financial assistance of Rs 5,000 each and his government will also compensate them for the loss of minimum wages.

Physical classes in schools, colleges and other educational institutions resumed and government offices reopened from Monday.

The government has also launched a special bus service to ferry its staff from government residential colonies in 14 areas in the city.

Rai said the campaign against open burning of garbage in Delhi will continue. "So far, 8,480 sites have been inspected under the campaign, and 1,000 violations detected. The violating agencies, organizations, and individuals have been fined Rs 28.76 lakh."

The transport department and the police will continue to check pollution-under-control certificates.

Rai said 18 lakh pollution-under-control certificates were issued in October and November. In the last two months, 14,000 people have been fined Rs 10,000 each for not having a pollution-under-control certificate and violating the norms.

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