State Pollution Control Board (
) on Friday issued notices to 13
realtors in Patna
for violation of environment-friendly construction norms. The firms or apartments have been asked to furnish a compliance report in 21 days, following which legal action may be initiated.
As per a statement issued by the BSPCB, notices have been served under the provisions of the Environment Protection Act, 1986. It has cited higher level of air pollution in the city caused by construction activities as the reason behind serving the notices.
“Despite directives being issued through newspapers, a number of real estate firms are undertaking construction activities without putting green cover or mesh on the sites. This, in turn, is leading to rise in the level of suspended particulate matter in the air with every passing day. Accordingly, the BSPCB has started a survey of apartments that are under construction and served notices to 13 firms or buildings, at present,” BSPCB chairperson Ashok Kumar Ghosh told TOI on Friday.
The 13 notices have been served based on a survey in two days and more notices will be issued in the coming weeks based on surveys in other parts of the city. The survey began from neighbourhoods in western parts of the state capital, including Ashiana Nagar, Khagaul and Saguna Mor.
“We are also keeping a vigil on adherence to environmental norms in construction projects of the government, including roads and flyovers. Agencies violating the norms will also be served notices,” Ghosh said.
The BSPCB chairman claimed that particulate matter emitted from construction sites contribute roughly 20% of the total air pollution in the city.
The level of suspended particulate matter or PM 2.5 — particulate matter less than 2.5 microns — in Patna is apparently recorded twice or thrice of the national prescribed level on most days in the year. The high level of PM 2.5, in turn, leads to higher Air Quality Index (AQI).
The AQI, which is an assessment of the air quality taking into account eight pollutants — PM2.5, PM10 (particulate matter less than 10 micron), nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, ammonia and lead — worsens in the winter season.
The AQI of Patna has crossed the 400-mark on many days this winter season as well and even topped the AQI chart in the country.
An action plan for control of air pollution in Patna released by the BSPCB in May last also identified construction activities, road dust and vehicular emission among other factors, as major sources of pollution in the state capital.