Delhi Air Pollution: Real Estate Bodies Voice Concern Over Construction Ban

The real estate developers’ organization, Naredco, has expressed its endorsement of the government’s decision to pause non-essential construction work in Delhi. Nevertheless, the organization has raised concerns regarding potential project delays. Concurrently, the builders’ association, Credai, has advised its members to implement anti-pollution measures at their construction sites.

Delhi Air Pollution

G Hari Babu, the National President of Naredco, conveyed that real estate developers are taking proactive measures to address pollution issues and stand in solidarity with the government’s anti-pollution efforts. He emphasized that suspending construction for a month can lead to project delays of at least three months. These delays not only impact the developers but also have wider economic repercussions, particularly affecting the unskilled labor force, a significant sector of employment in the country.

Babu highlighted that developers have financial commitments to institutions and customers for timely project delivery, and any delays result in additional financial burdens on real estate companies. He proposed that projects approved by RERA, which are obligated to adhere to pollution control measures, should be categorized as essential projects in the public interest and considered for exemption from the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). In summary, Naredco supports the government’s actions to address pollution concerns but underscores the economic and financial implications of potential project delays. They advocate for a balanced approach that takes into account both environmental preservation and sustainable development in the larger national interest.

Manoj Gaur, the President of Credai’s NCR chapter, has advised all member developers to take necessary measures in accordance with the guidelines established by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the Central Pollution Control Board. These measures include actions like water sprinkling and the utilization of green net coverings. Gaur stressed the importance of developers adhering to the guidelines provided by various government agencies during the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) period. He emphasized that controlling and managing vehicular pollution and dust on the roads are essential in addressing the pollution issue.

In a related development, on Thursday, the Central Pollution Control Panel invoked GRAP-III, leading to the temporary suspension of non-essential construction work, stone crushing, and mining activities in Delhi-NCR. This directive covers regions including Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, and Gautam Buddh Nagar. However, specific exemptions were granted for projects deemed essential, such as those related to railway services, metro rail services, airports, national security or defense-related activities, projects of national importance, and hospitals, and healthcare facilities.

Furthermore, the ban on non-essential construction and related activities does not apply to certain public projects like highways, roads, flyovers, overbridges, power transmission/distribution, pipelines, sanitation projects such as sewage treatment plants, water supply projects, and ancillary activities associated with the aforementioned project categories.