Delhi-NCR construction ban: ‘work is closed here, there is compulsion to return to village’

Mohammad Nazar-ul will be on forced leave for the next 10 days, the Environmental Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) has banned construction works in Delhi NCR. Mohammad Nazar, 28 years old, comes from Darbhanga district of Bihar. To stop the construction work by EPCA means that their earning channel will be closed for the next 10 days.

“The manager of our contractor said that the government has banned all construction work from 1st to 10th due to pollution,” he said. Mohammad Nazar lives with his wife and 3 children in a small hut near the construction site which his contractor has provided in Sector A of Gurugram.

Like all housing projects nearby, construction work has also been stopped. The material used in construction works is blowing air and adding dust particles. Until the ban of EPCA is lifted, all this will remain. Nazar-ul and his neighbors have been living in the same place during the last 5 construction projects, which have been given to them.

Nazar gets 210 rupees for a shift. Usually, they do two shifts throughout the day. Accordingly, in these ten days, they will lose wages of about 4000 rupees. Along with this, during these ten days, there will be around 2000 rupees for their expenses. Nazar said, “This will cause loss of 6000 of mine and my family. Similarly last year, 10 days did not work due to pollution, due to which we had to go through a lot of difficulties and in 2016 it happened during demonetisation. ”

Getting A Reliable Job 

Nazar says, “We don’t have a house in Darbhanga. It is also difficult to get a permanent job there. My father has evicted me from my property. So there is no question of going back to the village during this time. “He falls silent when his younger daughter Shagufta tries to take out the mobile phone tied on his waist and he says frustratedly that” now 10 days is the time. ” will do.”

Experts in the construction industry suggest that the EPCA has imposed this ban at the wrong time. It is the time of Diwali and immediately after this Chhath festival starts which is the main festival of Bihar, UP and parts of Madhya Pradesh. Incidentally, most of the workers come from these states.

Nazar ul’s 18-year-old neighbor Chandan is also from Rohtas district of Bihar. Chandan told, “The contractor is also from my area. There was no work, so here I come. “Chandan, who worked as a laborer in a housing project in Gurugram, had a mixed reaction to this forced leave.

The reality is that the loss of his income makes him depressed. But since Delhi has come, it was the first time to go home after that, so he bounces with joy. Chandan smiled and said that “I will come back here only after the end of Chhath or maybe by the end of the month.”

Hansraj, 36, works in another building project. His opinion is similar to the rest. “To be here means to spend home and travel. It is better that we go to our village, where the season of festivals and wheat sowing is near. Now we will return only after finishing these two, ”he says.

Apart from the lower class of income, this ban will also hurt the real estate business. Association Certified Relator in India (ASRI), an association of builders and developers from Delhi, Haryana and UP, is also troubled by this ban. “It is a difficult time for the laborers as this will slow down the construction of the project. It is highly unlikely that contractors give wages to laborers during the ban. This will increase both the cost of work and time, “ASRI President Ravindra Agarwal told Newslaundry. He says that it is very difficult to extract the loss figures and projects like this ban hang in the balance. Once If they (laborers) leave their work, then it takes 40-45 days for the work to come back in the same process. Big housing projects are hurried with this kind of ban. Receive think.

Agarwal claims that the ban imposed due to the dangerous air of Delhi NCR, has the potential to derail large housing projects. This disperses the entire process of working. If construction works will be stopped, then both the work and its deadline will be affected.

The organization claims that more than 100 major projects in Delhi NCR (comprising Delhi, Noida, Gurugram and Ghaziabad) will be affected by this ban of EPCA.

Officials associated with one of Gurugram’s housing projects, who are loudly advertising their Gurugram projects in Delhi, say, “Construction works in two lines, the structure and finally the decoration. Out of these, the decoration work will continue without any hindrance while the structural work has been stopped as per EPCA guidelines. ”

According to him, the decoration work takes place in the second phase of the project, which means that it is out of order of EPCA. But the deadline of the first phase has increased, because structural work creates dust.

Developers are often accused of ignoring the advice and guidelines issued by environmental authorities. As there is a clear violation of the norms of EPCA in the area of ​​Sector 64 to 70A of Gurugram. At many construction sites the building material is left open, debris is also thrown in the open. EPCA has long been demanding local authorities to reduce dust in the NCR, but this order

Designing A Sector

There is no importance for the companies of construction sector here.

It is to be noted that on 31 October, the Supreme Court gave legitimacy to the EPCA by saying that “the air quality will decline rapidly in the coming days in Delhi … and it is arising out of Western disturbance.” From the pictures released by NASA, it is clear that the amount of burning of paddy crop residues has also increased in the neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana. This, along with Delhi-NCR’s own sources of pollution, can accelerate the next 10 days immensely. “Air quality in Delhi is already in a very dangerous category, these factors will make the situation worse.

The organization has issued a seven-point Graded Response Plan (GRAP) and has asked the states to implement it. Under GRAP, EPCA has banned all construction activities, including excavation and civil construction, between November 1 and November 10, except where the work is finished and where construction materials are not in use. Due to this, stone-breaking and brick furnaces have also been banned.

ASRI Secretary General Nipun Chawla believes that banning construction works is not a permanent solution. The government will have to work with the developers to ensure that the same machines are used at the sites under construction which are able to absorb the dust. So that all the projects can be completed without hindrance and our environment is also not harmed.

Such ‘solutions’ are difficult to put into practice. The question also arises whether small and medium level developers would agree to follow such norms?

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