No construction work in Delhi till Sunday: LG

New Delhi, June 14  Amid the ongoing standoff between Lt. Governor Anil Baijal and the Delhi government, Baijal on Thursday met Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain over the poor air quality in the national capital and ordered to halt all construction activities till Sunday and sprinkle water on the roadsides.

The air quality remained severe for the second consecutive day on Thursday across Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).

Chairing an emergency meeting in view of severe dust pollution in Delhi, Baijal also ordered the municipal corporations and the Public Works Department (PWD) to intensify mechanical road sweeping, sprinkling of non-potable water at central verges and roadsides and stop brooming activity on main roads.

The municipal corporations, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and other government officials were directed to strictly enforce the prohibition on open burning of garbage, plastics and leaves.

The LG also asked the agencies to impose fine and penalties on all road construction agencies and contractors where there are inadequate dust control measures.

He also ordered to halt all the civil engineering construction activities in Delhi between June 15 and June 17 and asked the municipal corporations, DPCC and all construction agencies to enforce it.

Agencies engaged in construction activities were ordered to strictly enforce dust control measures at their respective construction sites.

The air pollution levels have reached severe category in the national capital, mainly due to the wind blowing dust from the western parts of the country, Baijal said.

Bhure Lal, the Chairman of Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority - EPCA, informed Baijal that he has already sent an advisory to the Chief Secretary of Delhi stressing the need for water sprinkling water to control dust pollution and monitoring of construction sites.

Baijal also issued an order for an afforestation drive from July 15 to September 15 across Delhi and asked the people of Delhi to participate.

"Information about procurement of saplings, identified areas for plantation activities can be obtained from Delhi government's Forest Department," he said in a statement.

All agencies concerned have been asked to submit their respective plans for plantation programme to the Forest Department.

The meeting was attended by EPCA Chairman, South Delhi Municipal Corporation Commissioner, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Managing Director, Environment and Forest Secretary, PWD Engineer-in-Chief and others.

Baijal directed for continuous monitoring by all agencies to ensure compliance with above measures.

A review meeting on the same would be held on June 25 and thereafter, implementation would be regularly monitored.

There was a sudden deterioration in air quality as the entire region was under the grip of dust brought by winds from Rajasthan, Iran and southern Afghanistan, officials said.