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Supreme Court Refuses Urgent Listing For Builders' Plea To Lift Construction Ban In Delhi

Srishti Ojha
6 Dec 2021 6:46 AM GMT
Supreme Court Refuses Urgent Listing For Builders Plea To Lift Construction Ban In Delhi
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The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a plea made on behalf of a builders group for urgent listing of its plea to lift the blanket ban imposed on construction activities in Delhi-NCR on account of the worsening air quality.Senior Advocate Vikas Singh mentioned the application filed by "Developers and Builders Forum" seeking the vacation of the order passed by the Supreme Court on November 24...

The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a plea made on behalf of a builders group for urgent listing of its plea to lift the blanket ban imposed on construction activities in Delhi-NCR on account of the worsening air quality.

Senior Advocate Vikas Singh mentioned the application filed by "Developers and Builders Forum" seeking the vacation of the order passed by the Supreme Court on November 24 to ban construction activities in Delhi-NCR.

"Thousands of crores are being lost today. The AQI has improved today. This order should be vacated", Singh submitted before the Chief Justice of India seeking for a listing of the application tomorrow or Wednesday.

"Let the government take a call", the CJI said. Singh then said that the ban was imposed by the Court after the Commission for Air Quality Management lifted the construction ban with effect from November 22.

The CJI said that the matter will be considered on the next posting date given for the case(December 10) and can't be heard before that day.

"Let the matter come up on Friday", CJI Ramana said. The builders group have moved this interlocutory application in the writ petition Aditya Dubey versus Union of India, in which the Supreme Court passed various directions to address the air pollution in the national capital. On December 3, the Court had posted Aditya Dubey case to December 10.

The applicant argues that the contribution of non-commercial construction activities to the Delhi's air pollution is minuscule and hence a blanket ban is unwarranted. Also, if large scale projects such as Central Vista are allowed to continue on the ground that they are works of national importance, then there is no justification for banning small scale non-commercial works, the forum argues.

"...the said blanket ban has directly affected the livelihoods of large number of construction workers, supervisory personnel and other managerial staff who would be employed at such sites on a daily or monthly basis. At a time when the entire country is coming out of the pandemic, any such ban affecting the livelihoods of large number of citizens would have devastating affects on the society", the application reads.

While imposing the ban on construction activities on November 24, the Supreme Court had allowed non-polluting construction activities such as plumbing, electrical works, interior decoration etc., to continue. The Court had also directed the Governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to utilize the welfare funds created through labour cess to pay minimum wages to construction workers during the period of ban. On the last hearing date as well, the Court reiterated its direction that these Governments should ensure the payment of minimum wages to workers.

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