The toxic air that has enveloped the Capital and some parts of the National Capital Region for the past seven days is expected to impact the real estate sector with likely losses running into Rs 100 crore per day.
This includes losses due to stoppage of construction work, labour costs and non-usage of construction material such as steel and cement but excludes the interest amount charged by banks on construction loans, says DS Rawat, secretary general, Assocham.
As construction work has stopped builders will not be able to meet their completion deadlines and homebuyers too will not get their houses on time, he says. Quality of life in Delhi-NCR will also be hit.
While it may be difficult to put a number to the economic loss since the exact period of dangerous levels of pollutants would depend on the weather conditions along with administrative measures, there is no doubt that several billions of dollars of fresh investment and GDP loss would occur, besides causing loss of confidence among the citizens, says Rawat.
Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Meerut, Panipat, Bhiwadi and Rohtak are all likely to be impacted across sectors such as real estate, tourism, transport, automobile and real estate, the Assocham paper said.
“If urgent steps are not taken, the economic impact arising out of the health issues could be catastrophic for the NCR, one of the important pillars of the national economy. Besides, this is also a wake up call for other regions around Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata,” says Rawat.
“The maximum impact would be felt by the Delhi economy which had the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Rs 55,8745 crore in 2015-16 at current prices. The GSDP of Delhi has been among the fastest growing in the country, but such a growth cannot be taken for granted,” the paper cautioned.
The chamber has suggested both short and long-term measures to tackle pollution in the NCR. “It should not be taken as a Delhi problem or a Noida problem; it must be handled at the top level in all neighbouring states of Haryana, UP, Punjab and Rajasthan along with active intervention of the Centre.
The challenge lies in changing the adversity of pollution into an opportunity for good health by sustainable development model, it added.