HT Reality Check: Despite pollution fine, dust & disarray persist at under-construction flyover site - Hindustan Times
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HT Reality Check: Despite pollution fine, dust & disarray persist at under-construction flyover site

BySreya Deb
Nov 09, 2023 06:24 AM IST

While the dust never settles near the flyover construction site on Ring Road, PWD officials pledge swift resolution to pollution woes amidst safety concerns.

LUCKNOW In the aftermath of the hefty fine (amounting to 1.83 crore) imposed by the U.P. Pollution Control Board on the two companies involved in the flyover construction project on Ring Road, a ground reality check conducted by HT on Wednesday revealed a concerning reality. At the flyover construction site between Munshi Pulia and Khurram Nagar, the relentless presence of dust and pollution remains an ongoing menace. Simultaneously, commuters grapple with treacherous, potholed roads on a daily basis.

The situation is critical on Ring Road, flanked by residential areas on both sides, as the flyover construction continues to be a constant source of air and noise pollution.
The situation is critical on Ring Road, flanked by residential areas on both sides, as the flyover construction continues to be a constant source of air and noise pollution.

Dust, pollution persist at construction site

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Starting from Munshi Pulia, the ongoing construction of the over-bridge leading up to Khurram Nagar, a daily commuting route for many city residents, remains a hotspot for air pollution, turning daily journeys into unpleasant ordeals.

Pedestrians are forced to wear masks, while four-wheeler drivers hurriedly roll up their windows, navigating through the thick shroud of dust that envelopes the construction zone near Khurram Nagar. Two-wheeler riders, on the other hand, resort to covering their faces with scarves, squinting through the haze just to find a way through.

The situation is even more critical on Ring Road, flanked by residential areas on both sides, as the flyover construction continues to be a constant source of air and noise pollution.

Despite efforts to mitigate the situation, it is evident that only a few sections of the construction site have received any reprieve through the sprinkler treatment. This is despite the pollution fines imposed on contracted construction companies -- GS Express Constructions and Vijai Constructions -- by the U.P. Pollution Control Board.

When asked on the matter, Ashutosh Singh, project advisor from the Public Works Department, said, “We have four water tankers assigned to sprinkle water on the streets three times a day – in the morning, afternoon, and evening – to combat pollution.”

However, the issues extend beyond pollution, as many of the roads adjacent to the Ring Road flyover project remain perilously unsafe. Open drains and mounds of soil and debris obstruct the road at the Khurram Nagar and Indira Nagar connector. The limited space available for commuters compels them to navigate treacherous paths around damaged roads and electricity poles. Officials, however, assure that these problems are on the brink of being resolved.

Officials confident of a swift turnaround

Vikas Srivastav, an assistant engineer with PWD, asserts, “In about a month or so, the construction projects will reach a point where all these issues will be a thing of the past.” He explained the complexities of managing maintenance and repairs in an ongoing construction area, emphasising the need to strike a balance between addressing pollution and ensuring the road’s structural integrity.

Srivastav further added, “We have targeted three areas along the Ring Road flyover construction site for repair and maintenance work in November. With the high traffic volumes during the World Cup and Diwali, we have chosen to begin these efforts after the festival. Some sections of the road have already undergone repairs, while others are in progress.”

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