Amid reports of loss of income to daily wage labourers, Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on Tuesday lifted the ban on construction activities in Delhi, imposed earlier this month to tackle severe air pollution levels.
The decision to lift ban on construction was taken in a meeting chaired by Mr Jung to review the condition of air pollution in Delhi.
This was a follow up meeting to the one held on November 7 in which several strong measures were taken to check pollution in Delhi.
"In view of the loss of income to daily wage labourers and the labouring class, Lt Governor directed that the ban on construction/demolition activities be lifted forthwith," a statement from the LG office said.
"It was directed that the DPCC guidelines for minimizing dust in construction sites shall be adhered to strictly," the statement said.
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) in the meeting informed that it has recorded one third fall in PM 10 levels in the last two weeks and one fourth in PM 2.5 levels in the last two weeks.
PM 2.5 pollutants can travel deeply into the respiratory tract down to the lungs and cause serious health hazards.
Environmental expert Sunita Narain, who was also present in the meeting, said, "cumulative action by all has had significant impact and pollution has come down considerably."
Mr Jung instructed strict observation on the ban on firecrackers during the marriage season.
He also said the ban on Diesel Generating sets, including in marriages, shall continue.
In compliance with the ban on construction, South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) issued 716 challans to violators, whereas East DMC issued 383 challans and generated a revenue of Rs. 30 lakh.
North DMC suspended one Junior Engineer for wrong reporting and issued 19 challans to violators and generated Rs. 11.5 lakh revenue.
During the same period DPCC issued 289 challans for violating environmental norms and earned revenue of Rs. 85 lakh.
During the meeting Special Commissioner Police (traffic) said that construction has been stopped at 539 sites and 29 cases have been registered.
In addition, Revenue department also issued 115 challans at 179 sites and collected a revenue of Rs. 42.9 lakh. Over Rs. 1.5 crore revenue was generated from violators of construction/demolition activity in the last one week.
Both the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and Supreme Court are monitoring the situation of air pollution in Delhi and their suggestions were taken up for discussion and implementation in the meeting.
The Lt. Governor asked all concerned to keep up their efforts, and advised the departments to work out a plan to secure a long term solution to the issue of deteriorating air quality in Delhi.