After a break of 26 days, construction work restarted in Delhi-NCR as the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) removed the third stage of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) aimed at addressing severe air pollution.
GRAP-III, which began on November 2, had restricted construction and demolition work in Delhi and the larger National Capital Region. Real estate developers welcomed this change but asked for future exceptions from such restrictions. They highlighted how these rules increased project costs, caused delays, and risked job losses, especially for daily-wage workers in construction.
CAQM’s decision to lift GRAP Stage III happened because the Air Quality Index (AQI) dropped from 395 on November 27 to 312 on November 28. Both readings fell in the ‘very poor’ category, lower than the AQI level (above 400) that triggers GRAP Stage III, categorized as ‘severe.’
During Stage III, stone crushing, mining, and construction were banned, except for essential projects like railways and national highways.
Industry leaders expressed relief at construction restarting, saying it’s crucial for meeting project deadlines and helping homebuyers. But they mentioned it might take a few more days for construction to fully resume.
Manoj Gaur, Chairman of CREDAI-National and CMD at Gaurs Group, appreciated lifting GRAP III but urged policymakers to exempt the real estate sector from future restrictions to prevent increased costs and delays for homebuyers.
G Hari Babu, National President of NAREDCO, also praised CAQM’s decision, expecting renewed construction efforts to benefit project schedules and the economy, which is good news for homebuyers.