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Polluted cities must manage dust to control pollution: Environment Ministry

(Representative Image) Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team Delhi, India Jan 29, 2018, 09.21 AM (IST)

The Union environment ministry has notified specific rules for certain cities to implement measures to reduce dust. 

The directive comes under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 according to which cities with particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) above recommended levels must take up measures to improve the quality of air. 

Particulate matter (PM10 and PM25) measures the amount and size of dust particle present in the air. 

The environment ministry issued detailed guidelines on dust mitigation close to a couple of months back. 

The standards are developed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) as part of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

The environment ministry is now equipped with the power to issue notices against local authorities and state agencies for non-implementation of actions. 

While Delhi/NCR already has stringent pollution-control measures in place, the new guidelines will also bring in other cities to start implementing these measures.

The rule came into force on January 25 and states that building or infrastructure projects will not get environmental clearance without implementing dust mitigation measures.

Some of the key measures to be adopted by building and construction projects require them to black-top all roads that lead to the construction sites. Excavation activities will also not be permitted without adequate dust mitigation measures in place. Sand, soil and construction-related waste must be kept covered within an earmarked area. 

According to official CPCB over 190 Indian cities and towns exceeded the prescribed PM10 limit in 2016; 31 recorded hazardous PM2.5 standard.