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Construction sites must use dust sensors to check pollution

Construction sites in Ahmedabad contribute to 16% of the respirable particulate matter pollution and is the third largest source of dust in the city. The civic body requires all construction sites, small or large, to install dust sensors and CCTVs to monitor dust mitigation measures. A large LED display board should also be erected at the site displaying air quality parameters in real-time for the public.

“The real-time feed from the dust sensors and CCTVs should be relayed to the AMC’s Smart City control and command centre,” said a senior AMC official.

Following a recently concluded survey on dust and particulate pollution in the city, commissioned by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), a draft policy for good construction practices has been formulated. It will be placed before the standing committee in the coming weeks for approval.

The policy document prepared by ICLEI-South Asia for the AMC highlights a crucial aspect — the size of a construction project.

Nearly 72% of newly registered sites fall under the 5,000 sq m to 10,000 sq m built-up area category. While these constitute 24% of the total sites, projects exceeding 20,000 sq m, which form 18% of the total sites, require environmental clearance.

“Dust pollution at construction sites is caused by demolition, cutting, crushing, drilling, excavation, operation of a ready-mix concrete plant, material handling, storage and transfer and use of mist machines,” said a senior AMC official.

Ahmedabad has been identified as a non-attainment city by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

“This means the city’s air quality does not meet national standards,” the AMC official added. The AMC is implementing various interventions as part of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) and the 15th Finance Commission recommendations.

With the construction boom in Ahmedabad, the number of registered sites has increased. As of 2022, over 452 sites were registered with the AMC though the Gujarat Real Estate Regulatory Authority (GujRERA) suggests the actual number could be much higher.New construction sites produce roughly 50kg of earth per sq m while demolition sites generate a staggering 400kg per sq m.

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