Delhi Air Pollution: Supreme Court Re-imposes Ban on Construction Activities

The top Court directed states to pay to the affected workers from funds collected as labour cess for the period.

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Delhi Environment minister Gopal Rai announced on Thursday, 25 November, that after Supreme Court directions, a ban has been re-imposed on construction and demolition activities in Delhi as “the air pollution levels have risen today as compared to the last 3-4 days”, news agency ANI reported.

The top court directed states to make payments to affected workers from funds collected as labour cess for the period.

Following the Court's order, 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."

He added, "We will also provide compensation to workers for their loss according to their minimum wages", as quoted by ANI.

In an interim order uploaded on Wednesday, a special bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana, also directed the Commission for Air Quality Management to "commission a scientific study of air quality based on available data of previous years bearing upon recorded levels of air pollution", Outlook reported.


Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, had pointed out that the AQI on Wednesday morning was 290 as compared to 403 last week.

However, the CJI had said after cross checking, “You are saying 290. We checked, it’s 318 at the moment… I think there is no substantial change in these two days. It was less. It is going back to serious or appears to. So take the measures for 2-3 days. Monday (29 November) morning we will hear it again. If the pollution level comes down drastically, say to 200, you are free to withdraw the restrictions”, Indian Express reported.

Further, the order stated, "The states shall use the funds which have been collected as labour cess for the welfare of construction workers to provide them subsistence for the period during which construction activities are prohibited and pay wages notified under the Minimum Wages Act for the respective categories of workers”.

(With inputs Outlook and The Indian Express.)

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Topics:  Air Pollution   Delhi    Supreme Court 

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