Maharashtra: Builders Association of India writes to CM Uddhav Thackeray, demands antigen testing for workers
(Photo by AFP)

The Builders Association of India (BAI) has approached Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for grant of certain relaxations from the recently issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to the construction industry in the interest of state economy. They have requested for the changes in the SOPs to allow offices of Architects, Licensed Surveyors, Engineers, Structural Engineers, Licensed Plumbers and other consultants to allow Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) instead of RTPCR for its workers employed on the construction sites.
In a letter to the CM, Mohinder Rijhwani, Chairman of Mumbai Centre of Builders Association of India has also requested to allow the sales offices of the builders' to remain open on the festivals such as GudiPadwa, Akshaya Tritiya Next week. Since many book flats on these auspicious festivals and if the sales offices are not allowed to open, business would be largely affected eventually state government losing stamp duty fees, it explained.

The state government in its notification issued on Sunday for the lockdown, curbs imposed from April 5, has made RTPCR/vaccination mandatory for the workers engaged on the construction sites. However the RTPCR test is a time consuming process as the reports are received only after 3-4 days.

Therefore, Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) should be allowed since it is an ideal alternative test done in almost the same method and the reports are made available within 30 minutes at less cost it claimed. Besides this, at present vaccination is allowed only to people above 45 years of age and most of the construction workers are below 45 years, thus compliance of the vaccination mentioned in the SOP by the Maharashtra Government would be difficult, the BAI contended.

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