Bans on construction and mining work in the National Capital Region have been going on and off since 2018. Due to the dipping Air Quality Indices which hover between ‘poor’ and ‘severe’, authorities such as the Supreme Court of India and the National Green Tribunal have imposed bans on mining, quarrying, construction, and demolition activities to reduce air pollution caused by loose flying dust off rubble generated from these industries. In the latest instance, the Supreme Court on November 24 re-imposed a ban that had just been lifted two days ago by the Delhi state government. The chain of developments regarding Delhi’s air pollution indicates that such temporary bans will continue to affect the industry for at least a few years to come.

For the entire construction and mining industry, there has been an uproar of sorts as projects of national importance have been stalled due to these blanket bans. Even for Doctorsand, this may mean losing key clients and business prospects.  However, we recognize and respect the decision of the Supreme Court in taking urgent action to take control of the worsening situation where Delhi is rapidly gaining notoriety as a dystopian model for air pollution.

We also appreciate the fact that a balancing act needs to be forged between finding out ways to complete major national projects without flouting any laws as set in motion by the judiciary – that is, to achieve an ideal middle path between infrastructure and economic progress and ecological repair for holistic welfare.

To complete high-priority projects, aggregates can be transported from Kotputli or Patan region in Rajasthan, both over 100 km away from the NCR region. While this adds to the cost of material and transport (approx 150-200 INR higher), it opens up the option of continuing construction projects without mining for aggregates in the banned precincts of Delhi-NCR.

Secondly, the huge construction and demolition (C&D) debris building up in the region can be processed and the recycled products can be used as effective substitutes to virgin material. Recycled Sand and aggregates generated by processing C&D Waste have already been tested for strength for usage in lean concrete.  Trials are currently underway to evaluate the feasibility of using these products for high-strength concrete. The latest technologies for C&D Waste Recycling are ideal for building ecological resistance because they create zero pollution through effluent discharge and reuse up to 95% of water apart from economizing power use.

At Doctorsand, we believe that this three-pronged process of completing key projects with externally sourced materials, recycling C&D waste to produce lean concrete substitutes, and running rigorous trials for high-strength concrete alternatives can help in reaching the light at the end of the tunnel. We remain committed to helping build a Delhi that remains ready to face the ongoing climate crisis and necessary bans imposed by concerned authorities for a resilient and smarter tomorrow.

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