COVID-19 in Mumbai: Amid spurt in cases, BMC allows architects, supervisors, engineers at construction sites

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has accepted the demand made by the apex realtors body NAREDCO allowing all architects, supervisors and engineers at construction sites on condition of following strict Covid-19 safety protocols. It will also facilitate monsoon related building repair works where such personnel will be required for carrying out the work for the safety of public and safety of the structure. No separate passes will be issued for such supervisory personnel, however they can carry their Identity cards while travelling, clarified the BMC in its revised notification on construction activities permitted in this pandemic.

The BMC however on second demand of real estate staleholders regarding the transportation of construction workers from outside to the sites has stated that it must be avoided, except for the material movement.

Pritam Chivukula, Co-Founder & Director, Tridhaatu Realty and Secretary, CREDAI-MCHI said, "The construction activity requires constant support and guidance of supervisors, architects and engineers at the site. Hence we had requested the Government to allow them at the construction sites with proper safety protocols. We thank the Government for giving the nod."

Chivukula further stated that though the new curbs won’t affect the large and medium-sized developers as they are already taking the necessary precautions at the sites. It will only affect the small developers and also the redevelopment projects as they do not have enough space for labour camps. Therefore permission to transport labourers from labour camps to construction sites adhering to safety guidelines will help the smaller developers to complete and deliver the projects on time and thus sustain the demand. The BMC in its COVID-19 safety notification has made it clear that construction activity will be allowed only where labourers are living on site.

Besides this, the real estate stakeholders have also urged government for their support. Ashok Mohanani - President, NAREDCO Maharashtra said, "Although both the Central and State Government have taken ample measures to support t sector, they need to ensure that the momentum continues since it is the second largest employment generator. The current lockdown has already played a spoiler on the festive spirit as we have witnessed muted sales on the occasion of Gudi Padwa. It would be difficult to sustain the demand if adequate Government support is not provided."

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