Supreme Court lifts ban on night-time construction activities in Delhi-NCR
Construction activities in Delhi and NCR had come to a halt after the Supreme Court in November 2019 ordered a ban on demolition and construction activities due to the deteriorating air quality in Delhi and surrounding areas.Updated: Feb 15, 2020 01:28 IST
The Supreme Court, on Friday, lifted the ban on construction and demolition activities in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) imposed since November 4, 2019.
A bench of justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta told solicitor general Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the Central government, that the order of November 4 is recalled.
Construction activities in Delhi and NCR had come to a halt after the Supreme Court in November 2019 ordered a ban on demolition and construction activities due to the deteriorating air quality in Delhi and surrounding areas.
The court had said that if any construction activity takes place, the local administration, along with the municipal authorities including the zonal commissioners and deputy zonal commissioners, would be personally held responsible.
Earlier, the court had partially relaxed the restrictions after taking into account the suggestion by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), following the improvement in the air quality index (AQI) in Delhi and surrounding areas from ‘severe’ to ‘poor’ category. The CPCB had suggested that construction can be permitted during the day between 6am and 6pm, taking into consideration the improvement.
The court had agreed to the suggestion of CPCB and lifted ban on day-time construction. The ban on construction during night from 6pm to 6am had, however, continued. With the court’s order on Friday, the ban on night-time construction activities has now been removed.
Rising pollution levels in the national Capital, despite various orders by the Supreme Court, had infuriated the bench during a hearing on November 25 that blamed the states of Punjab and Haryana for their failure to control stubble-burning by farmers.
The court had asked the CPCB and the states of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to take a concrete decision regarding installation and operation of smog towers to tackle pollution. It had also asked the Centre to constitute a high-level committee to study the use and feasibility of various technologies meant to tackle pollution.
The four states and CPCB have been asked to file their status reports on the steps taken to tackle air pollution by February 26.