Tribune News Service
Solan, November 6
With little arrangement to sprinkle water on the under-construction Parwanoo-Solan stretch of National Highway(NH)-22, which was being four-laned, plumes of dust could be seen flying all around.
The situation was especially bad between Dharampur and Kumarhatti where large-scale excavation work was underway along the hilly slopes.
GR Infraprojects, private company executing this work, has failed to adhere to its own environment impact assessment report where a slew of measures had been laid down to reduce dust emissions.
A perusal of the EIA report revealed that all precautions were supposed to be taken to reduce the level of dust emissions from the hot mix plants, crushers and batching plants which included transportation of material like sand and others to be undertaken with cover to avoid spillage on the road. Water was supposed to be sprayed on earth works, temporary haulage and detour roads on a regular basis.
Further, the EIA report also stated that during and after compaction of the sub-grade water was supposed to be sprayed at regular intervals to prevent dust generation. The hot mix plants were supposed to be fitted with dust extraction units. The company was further supposed to ensure that the dust emissions from the crusher and vibrating screen at the stone queries do not exceed the emission standards laid down by the Central Pollution Control Board.
The situation on the road was, however, diametrically opposite and plumes of dust could be seen all along the excavated road as there was virtually nil sprinkling of water.
Commuters travelling on this road were subject to the unhygienic environs and the regulatory authorities were sitting pretty over this issue. Though the Department of Environment did take up the issue with the State Pollution Control Board and the district administration in the past it has failed to bring about any appreciable change in the scenario.
The EIA report goes on to say that in order to ensure the efficacy of the mitigation measures suggested in the report, air quality monitoring would be carried out at least once a season when the hot mix plant is in operation. No such monitoring was, however, done to take stock of the situation and reduce dust emissions. Dry weather has further compounded the problem as in the absence of any dust suppressing measures, the air quality was further deteriorating.
Member Secretary, State Pollution Control Board, RK Pruthi, said they would serve a notice to the executing company if water was not sprinkled to suppress dust and they will be directed to follow the laid norms.
Impact assessment report overlooked
- GR Infraprojects, a private company executing this work, has failed to adhere to its own environment impact assessment report.
- Precautions to be taken to reduce the level of dust emissions included transportation of material like sand and others with cover to avoid spillage on the road.
- Water was supposed to be sprayed on earth works, temporary haulage and detour roads on a regular basis.
- Hot mix plants were supposed to be fitted with dust extraction units.