As air quality worsened in the national capital, Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain on Tuesday announced deploying 44 teams, including from Central departments, from November 1 to keep a check on pollution and violators.

In a statement, Hussain said the “urgent campaign” is being jointly organised by the Delhi government and the Centre. “Under the campaign, we appeal to the citizens to strictly avoid activities that add to air pollution,” he said.

A senior official in the Delhi Environment and Forest ministry said the campaign will be confined for the first week of November.

“If the need arises, we will continue with the campaign,” the official told IANS.

The 44 teams will comprise SDMs, officers from the municipal corporations, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), Delhi Environment Department, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), and the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

“From garbage/stubble burning to dusty roads, vehicular emission and use of diesel generators, the teams will be mandated to curb local source of air pollution and take strict action against violators responsible for sources of air pollution across Delhi,” Hussain’s office said.

“Strict punitive action will be taken against violators of dust control measures and those burning waste material, plastic, garbage in the open,” the Minister said.

The joint campaign will be flagged off at the Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, Jor Bagh, on November 1 by the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Dr Harsh Vardhan and Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain.

The MLA from Ballimaran constituency said that all the three municipal corporations, Public Works Department (PWD), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi Cantonment Board, and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) have been told that construction activities undertaken by them should not lead to emission of dust.

“They should ensure that water is regularly sprinkled on the building material. A construction site should be effectively covered for preventing dust emanating from the site,” he said.

To check vehicular pollution, the Transport Department has also intensified action against visibly polluting vehicles and vehicles not having Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates, a statement said.

Hussain has been conducting regular surprise inspections for the last five days to check violation of anti-pollution norms. On Tuesday, he fined the contractor of an under-construction site at the Mahipalpur underpass and flyover with Rs 5 lakh for failing to control dust emanating from the site.