Builder fined ₹25 lakh by HSPCB for violating construction ban norm-

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The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) imposed a penalty of ₹25 lakh on Mahira Developers for carrying out construction activities–in violation of the ban imposed by the Supreme Court and the directions issued by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM)–at its project site in Gurugram’s Sector 103 on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.

‘During an inspection at night, a team from the pollution board found construction taking place at the site of Mahira Buildtech Pvt Ltd at Daultabad in Sector 103. Construction activities were immediately stopped and environmental compensation penalty of ₹ 25 lakh was imposed on the developer.

Likewise, another violator was penalised for operating a diesel generator set on Railway Road,’ said Kuldip Singh, regional officer (north), HSPCB.

Rajesh Kumar, incharge of construction at Mahira Developers, said only those activities were being carried out at the project site that were permitted by the authorities. ‘There seems to be some confusion as we are adhering to norms. We will take up the matter with the pollution department,’ he said.

The state pollution board has been quick in issuing challans to large contractors and industry owners for violating pollution norms after the Supreme Court passed directions to take measures to curb pollution in the NCR districts. In the last two days, the board has issued challans on highway contractors and industry owners for not taking enough measures to control air pollution.

Meanwhile, the air quality in the city continued to remain in the ‘very poor’ category for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday with Gurugram recording an AQI of 372.

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.

The air monitoring station at Gwal Pahari recorded an AQI 370, Sector 51 recorded AQI 384, Teri Gram recorded AQI 384 AQI while Vikas Sadan recorded AQI 361.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) recorded a maximum temperature of 24.7 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 10.5°C.

The IMD on Sunday said the air quality over Delhi-NCR is likely to remain in the upper end of ‘very poor’ category as mostly calm or slow winds during evening and night are unfavourable for effective dispersion of pollutants. ‘Winds are likely to be relatively strong from Monday and Tuesday, which will slightly improve air quality but will remain in the very poor category on both days,’ said the IMD.

Low wind speed and drop in temperatures kept pollutants trapped in the lower layers of the atmosphere and prevented effective dispersion of particulate matter.

Sachin Panwar, a city-based air quality expert, said this is one of the worst phases of pollution in the city as mixing height is very low and all pollutants are stuck in the lower atmosphere. ‘Dispersion by local factors is very low as of now; strict Grap measures are required to reduce local emissions. School timings should be changed.. Senior citizens and those having respiratory complications should take extra precaution,’ he said.