Construction ban in NCR: DTCP forms 5 teams for enforcement in Gurugram
The department of town and country planning (DTCP), to strengthen the construction ban imposed by the state government in view of the high levels of pollution, on Tuesday issued directions to developers to stop construction in private licensed colonies as well as ongoing projects till Wednesday.
On Sunday, the Haryana government directed the closure of all schools, banned construction activities and advised government staff to work from home till November 17 in the four districts of Gurugram, Faridabad, Sonipat and Jhajjar.
According to officials of DTCP, the department formed five teams to enforce the construction ban and also ensure that norms imposed by National Green Tribunal to check pollution are not violated.
DTCP officials said that while an extension of the construction ban would depend on directions from the state government, it was likely to be extended due to high levels of pollution.
On Tuesday, Gurugram’s Air Quality Index (AQI) reading was recorded at 378, an increase from Monday’s reading of 342.
An AQI reading between 301 and 400 is considered “very poor”.
RS Bhath, district town planner, enforcement said that the five teams will randomly visit private colonies in their respective jurisdictions and enforce the ban.
“We have already been issuing notices and imposing penalties and this will be enforced more strictly. Construction activities will not be allowed till further directions from the government,” he said.
Ashish Sharma, assistant town planner, said that if local residents spot any violation, they should lodge a complaint and action will be taken at the earliest.
Responding to the construction ban, developers said that they were ready to halt work if it helped but there was a need to find out whether such a ban will make any difference in the longterm.
Pankaj Bajaj, president, CREDAI, NCR, said, “Public health comes first. The developer community is happy to halt work for as long as it is required, if it is going to help. Studies say construction contributes less than 5% of the ambient dust in the NCR. Experts say there is a need to check pollution caused by farm fires and vehicular emissions. The period for stoppage of work plus a reasonable re-mobilisation period should be allowed as force majeure for delivery commitments to home buyers.”
In another development, the enforcement team of Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran cleared three acres of prime land in sector 57 of illegal encroachments.
Sandeep Lot, junior engineer, HSVP said that an enforcement team demolished 150 hutments, five shops selling building material, six scrap shops and two eateries. “All these structures were illegal and were removed with the help of local police. This plot is reserved for a group housing project,” he said.