While considering a construction ban imposed during the greater AQI levels, we request authorities to consider exempting the non-polluting construction activities and to be allowed to be continued. Harsh Bansal, Convenor, CII Delhi Panel on Urban Development, Real Estate, Infra.
CII Delegation led by Mr Harsh Bansal, Convenor, CII Delhi Panel on Urban Development, Real Estate, Infra, met Honbl’e Minister Bhupender Yadav, Minister of Labour and Employment, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, and shared the construction industry concerns on bans imposed on the anticipation of poor air quality.
Mr Bansal shared that construction activities can be broadly categorised into two segments: Polluting and Non-polluting activities. In a construction project, 5 activities namely Excavation, Demolition, Dry marble cutting, mixing of concrete, loading & unloading of cement/dust & sand can be considered as polluting activities causing pollution through dust emissions. While, several other activities do not contribute to air pollution — shuttering, re-enforcement of brickwork, electrical, interior work, lift installation, plumbing, firefighting services, POP, welding, iron-cutting, laying of iron rods for slabs, etc. Therefore, while considering a construction ban imposed during the greater AQI levels, we request authorities to consider exempting the non-polluting construction activities and to be allowed to be continued.
Hon’ble Minister assured that he will address the concerns of industry and also advised to industry to adapt solutions towards sustainable and green environment. The Honb’le Minister further highlighted that from the total ban of over 53 days in last year we have reached to 20 days ban this year, this is a good progress and we must strive to further decrease it and aim to reach to zero ban days for construction. However, all this can be achieved not only by efforts of government but also support of industry and individuals.
Mr Bansal added that in the past, construction activities have been banned whenever the AQI levels remain under the ‘Severe’ category continuously for 48 hours. However, at present, the ban has been considered on the basis of AQI forecasts by the IMD/IITM meteorological department with immediate effect. Considering that multiple activities during construction such as laying lintels, rafts, etc. need to be planned and its abortion due to the ban with immediate effect impacts the foundation or strength of a building and also causes loss and delay, it is requested that any order for a construction ban should be imposed considering the real-time AQI levels or a minimum notice period should be given to construction units to enable completion of in-process engineering activities.
In view of a spike in air pollution, the Centre’s air quality panel has directed the implementation of curbs under Stage III of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in Delhi-NCR, including a ban on construction & demolition work in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR).
With respect to the same, the Confederation of Industry has requested the MoEFCC and Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) to lift the curbs for the non polluting activities in construction while give some minimum notice period to restrict other activities.