State has a solid waste policy: official
The Supreme Court order banning construction activity in States that do not have a solid waste management policy should not apply to Maharashtra, said Nitin Kareer, the State’s Principal Secretary, Urban Development Department. “From what we understand, the honourable court’s order does not name any State as such.”
“There are two parts to this order. The first is regarding States that had not followed up on the court’s earlier order. The second directive pertains to States that do not have a solid waste management policy in place. Maharashtra is not specifically named in this order and this should not be applicable [to] us since we already have such a policy.”
“Our lawyers will, on priority basis, inform the court about this; so, there is no question of a blanket ban on construction activities in our State,” he said. Mr. Kareer added that the State government would also find out why the court was not informed of the fact that Maharashtra has a policy in place to tackle solid waste.
Meanwhile, builders in Chandigarh expressed concern that the ban may drive up property prices in the city. This, according to real estate consultants, could be a double-edged sword.
“The ban would [drive escalation of] property prices in Chandigarh, which will certainly benefit the real estate business,” Kulbir Singh, real estate consultant at Northern Estates based at TDI city, told The Hindu. “Chandigarh is place where despite high prices of property, people tend to invest due to its well-established infrastructure. However, there is also a possibility that market may, after reaching a point, get stagnant because exorbitant prices will turn away the buyer,” he added.
Job losses flagged
Builders’ association Credai has flagged the possibility of job loss and impact on GDP if construction activity were stopped.
“We understand the Supreme Court’s concerns; however, we feel that the court should not stay construction activity as this will have a direct implication on daily wage earners in the industry while GDP could also suffer,” Credai National, chairman, Getamber Anand said in a statement.
The Goa Foundation, an environmental, non governmental organisation welcomed the order. Incidentally,
the Supreme Court order was based on a suggestion to this effect made by Additional Solicitor General for the Ministry of Environment & Forests, A.N.S. Nadkarni, said Claude Alvares, director, Goa Foundation.