Saturday, June 25, 2022

Rs 1 cr penalty: Not NBCC, contractor violated construction ban, NBCC clarifies

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New Delhi: State-run NBCC Ltd has responded to media reports holding the PSU responsible for violation of construction ban, saying that it was the contractor who violated the ban and will pay the Rs 1-crore penalty imposed by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), not NBCC. "News circulating in media alleging NBCC for violation of construction ban is not in true spirit. NBCC, a CPSE is a responsible Govt. entity facilitating infrastructural development for the Nation. NBCC is committed to conduct its business operations in line with Environment policies and promotes best sustainability practices. All dust mitigation measures as prescribed by the concerned authorities have been implemented at our projects having more than 40 ft. height wind barrier barricading and equipped with adequate nos. of anti-smog guns and water-sprinkling facilities, etc," said an official statement.

It added, "NBCC reassures that all the construction works carried out at various project sites are in line with the prescribed guidelines. The company has taken serious action against its contractor for violation of statutory norms and has imposed additional penalty on the contractor. It is also clarified that environment compensation, if any, imposed by DPCC shall be borne by the contractor and not by NBCC."

The Delhi Government had imposed a fine of Rs 1 crore on NBCC (India) Ltd for violation of pollution norms on December 17. The penalty was imposed for continuing construction work, despite the ban, at its site in Netaji Nagar. The Delhi government has also issued directions to immediately seal the site. The construction and demolition activities in Delhi and adjoining areas are banned due to toxic air quality in the region.

Environment Minister, government of Delhi, Gopal Rai said NBCC was caught trying to covertly go on with construction activities in pitch-black darkness at its Netaji Nagar site and was fined Rs 5 lakh on December 3.

“The agency was found repeatedly violating the ban, and hence, a fine of Rs 1 crore was imposed on it. In light of these covert activities, 11-night patrol squads have been set up by the government to keep a close watch on construction and demolition works,” Rai told news agency ANI on December 17.

He said that the government had received proposals from agencies for lifting the construction ban, which was forwarded to the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM). “Until the CAQM takes a decision, all violations will invite strict and immediate action. The ban on construction and trucks entering Delhi, barring essential services, will continue until further notice,” the minister said.

The Central government-appointed air quality panel, Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) had banned construction and demolition activities in the National Capital Region in the wake of deteriorating air quality. However, some projects like those of the railways, airport, inter-state bus terminals and healthcare facilities, among others, are exempted from the restriction.

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