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Construction : Web Exclusive | January 2018 | Source : CW-India

CREDAI requests NGT to reconsider complete ban on construction; says project timelines will be hurt

The NGT ban of construction even on compliant real estate developers will create a big hurdle in timely delivery of housing. Developers are in a race against time to deliver houses which have been delayed for various reasons. The current order by NGT abruptly halts this race. Even when the ban is lifted, work will not restart immediately as it takes at least a month to re-mobilise a large construction site.the NGT orders says that the construction labour should continue to be paid for the period that construction is halted. It is unjust to ask the real estate developers to pay this cost. Apart from this, there are numerous other time costs that a real estate developer is bearing like interest costs on bank loans, equipment rental costs, fixed overheads, statutory payments to authorities. Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India NCR (CREDAI NCR) demands that all these costs (especially fixed time bound costs to government authorities like EDC, land payments etc) to be brought under a “0 period” for the period that construction is halted plus one month. The developers should be compensated the costs of this ban by the real perpetrators of this pollution.

Builders' body CREDAI NCR has appreciated the efforts of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) towards identifying the causes and controlling the pollution in NCR. CREDAI NCR has asked real estate developers in the NCR to adhere to orders of the NGT.

In response to the poor air quality, NGT has banned construction activity in the NCR till the date of the next hearing. CREDAI NCR welcomes all steps required to prevent air pollution and stands by the government and the judiciary in this fight. However, the unilateral ban on construction has raised the serious concerns:

The NGT ban of construction even on compliant real estate developers will create big hurdle in timely delivery of housing. All projects require Environment Clearance (EC) and Consent to Establish (CTE) from the respective state pollution boards. These permissions come with strict stipulations on pollution during construction right from methods of construction and material transport and storage to disposal of construction debris. There are strict guidelines and parameters for controlling air, water and ground pollution. Moreover, the permissions come with the rider that they are subject to six monthly audits by the pollution department. The permission of any real estate developer in violation of the parameters is liable to be withdrawn. The current NGT order is akin to a blanket withdrawal of all construction permissions. It punishes a large number of compliant real estate developers along with a few errant real estate developers. Why ban a construction which as per government (pollution department) records is causing no pollution? Why penalise real estate developers who are incurring extra costs and ensuring compliance with all pollution norms? State governments like that of Haryana should have been directed to complete projects like KMP and NPR to reduce vehicular traffic.
 
Developers are in a race against time to deliver houses which have been delayed for various reasons. The current order by NGT abruptly halts this race. Even when the ban is lifted, work will not restart immediately as it takes at least a month to re-mobilise a large construction site. Developers are required by law and especially under RERA to deliver on time. How will get houses delivered on time with stop-go construction? Should this period not be excluded by all authorities or consumer forums or RERA from the timeframe for house delivery? It is unjust to make the Developer bear the cost of this delay.
 
Further, the NGT orders says that the construction labour should continue to be paid for the period that construction is halted. It is unjust to ask the real estate developers to pay this cost. Apart from this there are numerous other time costs that a real estate developer is bearing like interest costs on bank loans, equipment rental costs, fixed overheads, statutory payments to authorities. CREDAI NCR demands that all these costs (especially fixed time bound costs to government authorities like EDC, land payments etc) to be brought under a “0 period” for the period that construction is halted plus one month. The developers should be compensated the costs of this ban by the real perpetrators of this pollution.
 
According to Pankaj Bajaj, President, CREDAI NCR, “The real estate and construction industry has a disproportionate amount of public interest involved. Lakhs of houses are to be delivered in the NCR. Real estate developers are in a race against time. Halting construction causes irreparable damage to the delivery timelines and the real estate developers’ finances. Errant developers should be brought to book. But compliant developers need to be compensated for the costs of this delay. We hope that the authorities and banks will exempt the developers for the costs of this period.”



 
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