Construction ban: NCR builders fear momentum break, hope for permanent solution

With pollution levels dropping, the construction ban in Delhi NCR has been extended till November 5, 2019.

Real estate players in the National Capital Region said on Friday that the ban on construction till November 5, 2019, will have an adverse effect on their pace of work, resulting in delay in handing over flats to buyers.

Builders in Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad also hoped that a “permanent solution” be found to the annual practice of banning construction in Delhi-NCR during this time of the year and other steps be taken round-the-year to prevent such alarming levels of pollution.

Pankaj Bajaj, president of NCR unit of CREDAI, a confederation of builders across country, said the real estate industry is wholeheartedly with the authorities in their efforts to control pollution and they take it up as their legal and moral responsibility.

“However, such disruptions are unfortunately not added to the committed possession dates for the homebuyers. Even if work is officially stopped for just 10 days, it may take another two weeks to fully remobilise the site.

There are at least 7-8 such episodes in the construction cycle of a typical project in NCR. Hope this is seen as a factor beyond the control of builders,” Bajaj, the managing director of Eldeco, told PTI.

Developers are already doing their bit towards environment and are employing means that can help contain the pollution, said Ashok Gupta, CMD of Ajnara India, which has projects in Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida.

“However, stopping work for 4-5 days is a bit too much and should be avoided at a time when we are working towards achieving the goal of delivering as much as possible,” he said.

Dhiraj Jain, the director of Mahagun Group, which has projects in Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida, said the EPCA’s step is an indication that the situation of pollution is bad.

“Every year we see this happening around November but this step is good only for a few days. … We hope a permanent solution comes up that does not hamper the pace of construction which is important to deliver houses to everyone,” Jain said.

Sagar Saxena, the project head for Spectrum Metro, described the decision as a “setback” to the overall pace of development.

“A sudden brake of a week does affect the construction. I strongly feel that there are other steps that should be taken round the year so that this yearly phenomenon of pollution should not happen,” he added.

Ghaziabad-based Vasu Infrastructure’s director Rakesh Aggarwal felt the EPCA’s decision to completely stay all construction activities in Delhi-NCR will adversely affect the management of labour and said it becomes difficult to keep workers unoccupied for four to five days at a go.

“Almost a week’s time without work will disperse the settled labour which in turn will affect the flow of work in the coming days even after the ban is lifted. This has a bearing on the overall efficiency and adversely affects the productivity of a project,” he said.

“Increase in the level of pollution is a matter of grave concern and everyone should pitch in to mitigate the effects but there should be some permanent solution to it rather than all such stop gap measures as it is a yearly problem and almost happens around the same time every year,” Aggarwal, also the vice president of Credai Ghaziabad, said.

A spokesperson for BPTP, which has projects in Gurgaon, Faridabad and Noida, said, “We will comply with the government order and stall all construction. Our focus has been on enhancing green cover at our sites.”
The EPCA, a Supreme Court-mandated panel, on Friday declared a public health emergency in the Delhi-NCR and banned construction activity till November 5.

It also banned the bursting of crackers during the winter season and directed that all coal and other fuel-based industries, which have not shifted to natural gas or agro-residue, will remain shut in Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Noida, Bahadurgarh, Bhiwadi, Greater Noida, Sonepat, Panipat till the morning of November 5.

NGT lifts ban on construction in Delhi-NCR

With pollution levels improving slightly, the National Green Tribunal has lifted its ban on construction activities in the Delhi-NCR but has refused to provide a similar concession to industrial activities causing pollution

November 20, 2017: The National Green Tribunal (NGT), on November 17, 2017, lifted its ban on construction activities in Delhi-NCR and allowed trucks to enter the national capital, while asking authorities to strictly monitor their movement. The green panel, however, refused to lift its ban on industrial activities causing pollution in the Delhi-National Capital Region. It gave a green signal to the construction of the Eastern Peripheral Expressway but said no dust pollution should be caused.

“All directions, in relation to emissions from industry, burning of waste and crop residue, shall continue to be enforced,” a bench headed by NGT chairperson, justice Swatanter Kumar said. The tribunal also directed the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, to submit their action plan on steps taken to curb pollution within two weeks.

See also: Steps by authorities on air pollution are woefully inadequate: Delhi HC

The bench also heard the Delhi government’s second plea on the odd-even scheme. It had earlier refused to exempt women and two-wheelers from the Delhi government’s odd-even vehicle rationing scheme and directed it to ensure that diesel vehicles over 10 years old, be taken off the roads without delay. The NGT had on November 11, 2017, stated that it would not exempt women and two-wheelers from the odd-even vehicle rationing plan to tackle pollution. It had also asked the city government to identify the most polluted areas and sprinkle water, while allowing non-polluting industries and those manufacturing essential goods to operate in Delhi-NCR.

 

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