The construction ban in Ghaziabad, which was extended till November 15, is being flouted in the district, with work in full swing at several housing projects. The ban was initially till November 10, but was extended keeping in mind the severely polluted air in the city. The Air Quality Index (AQI) levels recorded in Ghaziabad on Monday was 426.
The Indian Express Monday visited several areas to see if the ban was being complied with.
At the junction of the road leading to Indirapuram, a multi-storey housing society is being constructed by Prateek Group in Siddharth Vihar. On Monday afternoon, a few workers could be seen constructing a railing, to be installed on the sides of the incomplete structure. When contacted, Nishant Tyagi, head of corporate communications for Prateek Builders, however, said, “We can assure that none of the construction work being undertaken is adding to pollution… rest of our process has been halted.”
Meanwhile, at a sprawling housing project by Apex Builders in the vicinity, work was underway on the roof of one of its incomplete floors — with workers perched on the scaffolding. Vikas Goyal, part of the project management team at the site, said: “This is very basic work and we are abiding by the directives of the administration. We vouch that no construction work is going on.”
A private construction project was taking place at a plot in Siddharth Vihar, where labourers were cutting steel beams using diesel generators.
Jasmeet Tyagi, a former government employee and owner of the plot, said the work was short-term. “I have stopped all other construction work. The cutting of rods is being done for just a couple of hours since I got a new steel consignment delivered today,” he said.
The administration has promised strict action against those who flout norms. “Only tile work and wood-work is allowed… any other work should be halted. We are going to inspect construction sites extensively and ensure compliance,” said A K Tiwari, chief of the district pollution board.
District Magistrate Ritu Maheshwari said, “Work was stopped at several locations on Monday by sub-divisional magistrates, and officials will continue to do so over the next three days.”
According to Chief Medical Superintendent of MMG Ghaziabad District Hospital Dr Jitendra K Tyagi, the number of cases of respiratory ailments this year is higher. “We have observed that even infants and children are getting lung infection and lung cancer, something common in smokers,” he said.