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Delhi NCR air quality: Construction ban re-imposed by SC, Kejriwal government to compensate workers

The Supreme Court took note of the worsening air quality of Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) and decided to take some precautionary measures to keep it from deteriorating further. Currently, the air quality of Delhi NCR lies in the ‘very poor’ category.

The Supreme Court re-imposed the ban on construction activities in the city and nearby regions, which might add to the already polluted air of the national capital. Apart from this, the apex court also ordered the Delhi government to compensate construction workers for this period.

In the order, the Supreme Court said, “In the meantime, as an interim measure and until further orders, we re-impose the ban on construction activities in the NCR subject to the following two conditions: Non-polluting activities relating to construction such as plumbing work, interior decoration, electrical work, and carpentry are allowed to be continued.”

As per the order of the Supreme Court, the Delhi government subsequently announced a compensation of Rs 5000 for construction workers who will be affected by the ban imposed in the city, in order to control the rising pollution levels.

Making the announcement, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “I have given an order today to deposit Rs 5,000 each in bank accounts of construction workers in view of a ban on construction activities due to air pollution.”

The chief minister further added that the Delhi government will also be providing compensation to workers for their loss according to their minimum wages. Till now, no date has been issued for the lifting of the construction ban in Delhi, and neighbouring districts falling in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab.

Earlier, the Delhi government had taken several measured to control the pollution levels in the national capital, which included deploying water sprinkling machines in the streets and promoting the usage of public transport among residents for general activities. The schools and colleges in the city have also been shut down due to the worsening air quality in Delhi NCR.

(With agency inputs)