As the construction activities have been banned in Delhi on account of air pollution, the livelihood of thousands of construction workers in the National Capital has abruptly suspended. Under the circumstances, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal assured the hapless workers that his government led stands in support of them.
The chief minister has, on Wednesday, announced a financial assistance of ₹5,000 for each construction worker per month during the period of prohibition on construction activities in the National Capital.
The Delhi government has banned construction and demolition activities under stage III of the Graded Response Action Plan following the Commission for Air Quality Management’s (CAQM) order.
“Construction activities have been stopped across Delhi in view of pollution. I have directed Labour Minister, Manish Sisodia, to give ₹5000 pm as financial support to each construction worker during this period, when construction activities are not permitted, The Delhi Government spent Rs 350 crores to support 7 lac construction workers last year. Even during the Corona crisis, the Delhi Government provided aid of Rs 5000 to all the construction workers. ” Kejriwal said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, Delhi’s air quality improved marginally on Wednesday morning owing to relatively better meteorological conditions, with the CAQM saying there is no immediate need to implement curbs under the fourth stage of the GRAP. The AQI of the city stood at 376 at 9 am. The air quality is likely to improve further on the back of stronger winds from Thursday, forecasters said.
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai has appealed to the residents to work from home and use shared transport to reduce vehicular pollution. On the air pollution emanating from stubble burning in Punjab, Rai said that the responsibility also lies with the central government.
“Central government gives government subsidies to control stubble burning but farmers want direct incentives,” Rai said. “Punjab’s stubble burning could have come down by 50% if the Centre cooperated.”
The GRAP is a set of anti-air pollution measures followed in Delhi and adjoining areas according to the severity of the situation. It classifies the air quality in the Delhi-NCR under four different stages: stage 1 – “poor” (AQI 201-300), stage 2 – “very poor” (AQI 301-400), stage 3 – “severe” (AQI 401-450) and stage 4 – “severe plus” (AQI above 450).