Builders’ Association Of India has requested the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to issue fresh guidelines specifically for the construction industry. What are these guidelines that the builder community wants?
By Varun Singh
The Builders’ Association Of India (BAI), has written to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray ‘Saheb’ to issue fresh guidelines for the construction industry.
On Sunday night the government of Maharashtra came up with fresh restrictions to tackle the growing numbers of Corona patients in the city and the state.
The SOP’s for the construction industry by the state government mentioned, the following points.
Construction Activity –
a) To be allowed only for sites where labourers are living on site. Movement to and fro from outside must be avoided, except for the purposed of material movements.
b) Every one engaged in the activity to get vaccinated at the earliest, as per criteria of GOI and till get vaccinated must carry a negative RTPCR test result certificate, which will be valid for 15 days. This rule will come into effect from 10th April, 2021
c) Defaults will lead to a fine of 10000/- for the developer of the construction site and repeated defaults may lead to closure of the site till existence of notification of COVID 19 epidemic.
d) lf a worker is found positive he or she would be allowed medical leave and cannot be discontinued during this absence for this reason. He or she will be entitled for full wages that he or she might have earned had he or she not contracted corona.
Builders’ Association says that Government of Maharashtra’s recent order outlining new SOP’s threatens to undo all the positive developments of the last few months.
ALLOW ANITGEN TEST
The letter by Builders’ Association Of India reads, “Saheb, RTCPR test is lengthy and time consuming process and the results are available only after three or four days. On the contrary, the ANTIGEN TEST is the newest coronavirus screening method, which detects proteins that are parts of the coronavirus. This is done in almost the same method as the RTPCR – that is by using nasal fluid in a swab. ANTIGEN TEST is able to give the results quicker than RTPCR and is not as expensive. Hence, we request that ANTIGEN TEST be also allowed.”
ON VACCINATION FOR ALL
Regarding vaccination, the Associations says, as the majority of the construction industry workers are below 45 years of age, the criteria for the vaccination decided by the Government of India i.e. above 45 years, may create hurdles in the implementation of the decision of Maharashtra Government to vaccinate all the persons engaged in the construction industry.
ALLOW ARCHITECTS & CONSULTANTS TO FUNCTION
The letter further stated, “Saheb, Government of Maharashtra has allowed construction activity. But, construction activity is dependent on lot of vendors and service providers. Construction activity also requires lot of back office support – drawings, plans, designs, schedules, finances, etc. If they are not there, construction sites cannot operate.”
They further want that just like offices of advocates have been allowed to remain open, offices of Architects, Licensed Surveyors, Engineers, Structural Engineers, Licensed Plumbers and other consultants should be allowed to operate their offices with atleast 50% strength. It will be ensured that the personnel either get vaccinated or go for ANTIGEN TEST.
FESTIVAL SALES WILL BE IMPACTED
With festivals on their way, the letter by Builders’ Association of India has stated, “Saheb, ‘Gudi Padwa 2021’ is coming on Tuesday 13th April, 2021 and will be followed by many important Hindu festivals – Akshaya Tritiya on Friday, May 14, 2021 is one to mention, and many people book flats during these period.”
They say if the back office (sales office) of the builders are closed, prospective buyers will face lot of problem, builders will loose out on business and Government will loose out on Stamp Duty. Hence, these offices need to be allowed to be open by observing proper SOP’s.
ISSUE FRESH GUIDELINES
Finally the Association submitted, “We request you to please consider issuing fresh guidelines, specifically for the construction industry.”
The letter is signed by Mohinder Rijhwani, Chairman, Mumbai Centre Builders’ Association of India.