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National Buildings Construction Corporation issues new guidelines for contractors to curb air pollution
With all construction activities halted in the national capital for 10 days starting November 1 in view of rising air pollution, NBCC has come up with new guidelines for contractors at all its project sites across the country, the company's Chairman and Managing Director Anoop Kumar Mittal has said.
The guidelines include the use of steel container trucks, transportation and storage of cement and fly ash in closed silos and prohibition of grinding and cutting of building materials at the site.
Last week, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) stopped construction activities at NBCC's Pragati Maidan project site for a few days to curb air pollution. The company that has an order book worth Rs 80,000 crore, is working on several projects in the national capital that includes the redevelopment of Pragati Maidan.
"No open trucks will be allowed on our projects. All building materials, as well as wastages, will be transported in steel containers. Contractors of all projects across the country have been asked to comply with the guidelines in a month,” he told reporters.
“We have also decided to have more steel structures instead of brick and mortar to ensure that there is least dust pollution,” he said.
Sand, grit, cement and other construction materials would from now be transported only in permanently closed vehicles having flat enclosure at the top. The truck enclosure would be covered by tarpaulin sheets and properly fastened with the hooks inbuilt in the truck’s body, as per the new guidelines.
The cement and fly ash should be transported and stored in closed silos. The cement batching plant should be located away from the working site.
Grinding and cutting of building material shall also be prohibited and no cutting machine or hand clutter would be used at the site. The basement of any building shall be constructed with diaphragm walls and no excavation of soil shall be carried out without adequate dust mitigation measures, as per the guidelines.
Pollution check machines should be available at the work sites to monitor the pollution level of diesel, petrol, CNG operated vehicles.
Waste from the site would be removed immediately after completion of the concerned work and all roads leading to or at the construction site would be paved and sprinkled with water on daily basis, Mittal told reporters.
"We will continue to make efforts towards maintaining the Air Quality Index by adopting requisite dust-mitigation measures at all project sites," he said.
Asked if this would lead to an increase in the cost of construction/project costs, he said, “For a Rs 1000 crore project, containers are not much of a cost, these can be used everywhere. The costs will be negligible, it is not possible to calculate as these would be very less,” he added.
The company recently had faced criticism for large-scale felling of trees in housing projects in south Delhi. In August, it had issued revised General Conditions of Contract (GCC) making it mandatory for contractors to plant five trees for each Rs 1 crore value for projects having estimated cost up to Rs 100 crore. For projects valuing between Rs 100-300 crore, the contractors will now have to plant and maintain 500 trees plus 2 trees for each Rs 1 crore value above Rs 100 crore.
Similarly, for projects valued at over Rs 300 crore, the contractors will have to plant and maintain 1,000 trees plus 1 tree for each Rs 1 crore value above Rs 300 crore.
Earlier, the contractors were required to plant 50 trees for projects valued between Rs 25 crore and Rs 100 crore, 100 trees for projects valued between Rs 100 crore and Rs 300 crore, and 200 trees for projects valued above Rs 300 crore.