The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Signature Global (India) Limited, and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) have teamed up to deploy an air quality monitoring network in Gurugram to determine pollution concentrations at construction sites and promote clean construction practices.

The network comprises nine air quality monitors and one automatic weather station, and the data collected from it will be provided to project developers and research teams through a dashboard that captures pollution concentrations during different on-site construction activities. The pilot project, supported by USAID under the ‘Cleaner Air and Better Health’ initiative, aims to reduce air pollution from construction activities.

The deployment of the air quality monitoring network is expected to strengthen the regulation of pollution activities on construction sites and promote clean construction practices. During winters, the government imposes blanket bans on construction activities to reduce air pollution, which leads to project delays and affects homebuyers, investors, and developers. To mitigate this issue, Signature Global (India) Ltd and CEEW have partnered to explore innovative ways to embrace cleaner construction practices.

The Chairman of the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), Praveen Jain, said that no agency, including the government, has a clear idea of the exact amount of pollution generated by construction activities at their sites. To address this issue, a study is being conducted by IIT Delhi, and the report will be out soon. Jain hopes that the study will yield positive outcomes.

Recently, the Haryana State Pollution Control Board issued a public notice directing all project sites of more than 500 square meters to install reliable PM2.5 and PM10 sensors to measure microscopic fractions of particulate matter in the air, which can cause serious health problems when inhaled.

The CEO of CEEW, Arunabha Ghosh, said that construction and demolition activities represent a significant source of air pollution, and a construction site can have an outsized role in residents’ exposure to pollution. Monitoring air quality around construction sites and introducing protocols that promote self-regulation by the industry and demonstrate their best practices is an important first step in mitigating this large source. This pilot project aims to find solutions to reduce air pollution from construction activities.

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