AQI ?very poor?, SC reimposes ban on construction in NCR

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 25

As air quality refuses to show any considerable improvement, the Supreme Court has reimposed the ban on construction activities in Delhi-NCR and ordered states to provide subsistence money to workers from the funds collected as labour cess during the ban period.

“In the meantime, as an interim measure and until further orders, we reimpose the ban on construction activities in the NCR… Non-polluting activities relating to construction such as plumbing work, interior decoration, electrical work and carpentry are allowed to be continued,” a Bench led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana ordered.

The states shall use the funds collected as labour cess for the welfare of construction workers to provide them subsistence for the period during which construction activities would remain prohibited and pay wages notified under the Minimum Wages Act for the respective categories of workers, it ordered.

Asking the Commission for Air Quality Management in the NCR and Adjoining Areas and the states of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to continue with their measures to curb the spike in pollution, it reversed the decision to allow construction activities from November 22.

It directed the commission to “conduct a scientific study of air quality based on available data of previous years bearing upon recorded levels of air pollution”.

“We direct that instead of waiting for the air quality to deteriorate before initiating action under the graded response plan, necessary measures must be put in place in anticipation of a deterioration of air quality. For this purpose, it is necessary for the commission to engage expert agencies with domain knowledge in meteorological data and statistical modelling,” it said in its order uploaded on Wednesday night.

On Wednesday, it postponed the hearing on worsening air pollution in Delhi-NCR to November 29. “Take the measures for the next two-three days and we will again hear this matter next Monday,” it had said.

Provide subsistence to workers, states told

The SC has ordered the NCR states to provide subsistence money to workers from the funds collected as labour cess during the construction ban period

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