Mumbai: BMC completes appointment of 3 task forces to combat air pollution in city

Mumbai: BMC completes appointment of 3 task forces to combat air pollution in city

As per the standard operating procedures (SOPs) announced by the seven-member committee, the task force was to be formed in all 24 administrative wards.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Monday, April 24, 2023, 09:43 PM IST
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Salman Ansari/ FPJ

Mumbai: The process of appointing three task forces at ward level to improve air quality in the city has finally been completed. The teams have prepared their action plan and will start their surprise visits from this week to construction sites, infrastructural projects in their respective wards to check compliance with the guidelines. However, the violators will have to face action, including warnings, fines, and even stop work notices.

As per the standard operating procedures (SOPs) announced by the seven-member committee, the task force was to be formed in all 24 administrative wards in the city by April 1. However, civic wards are already engaged in pre-monsoon work, which have to be completed by May 31. So the implementation of the immediate and long-term measures recommended by the special committee is still on paper. Taking serious note of this delay, the additional municipal commissioner, Sanjeev Kumar, directed the ward officials to fast track the process of forming the task forces in their respective wards.

Objective of the task forces

After almost three weeks, several wards have formed the three task forces that will be in action on the field this week. A special weekly drive will also be conducted by the task force to identify the hotels, restaurants, bakeries, dhabas, and banquet halls using unclean fuels or coal to fire tandoors. "We have formed the team and also prepared a list of areas where we can start our surprise visits. Our team has already started visiting construction sites, and soon we will start our action on the violators as recommended by the special committee, said a ward official from the western suburb.

The task force can issue a warning letter to developers who fail to implement air pollution control measures. On a second instance of non-compliance, punitive action will be taken as per the provisions of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act or Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, which include the issuance of a stop-work notice. The BMC has also asked other special planning authorities like the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, and the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation to inspect the sites. Earlier, BMC directed all its ward officers to submit their action-taken reports on the plan on the 5th and 20th of each month to the additional municipal commissioner and the deputy municipal commissioner (environment).

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