BMC permits four more construction hours

From the earlier 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., developers can now work from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

June 14, 2016 12:00 am | Updated October 18, 2016 03:06 pm IST - MUMBAI:

more time more work:New timings have been brought into force as long as no nuisance is created to neighbourhoods, says BMC chief engineer. —file photo

more time more work:New timings have been brought into force as long as no nuisance is created to neighbourhoods, says BMC chief engineer. —file photo

As part of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s ‘ease of doing business’ initiative, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta issued a directive allowing developers in the city to extend hours of work, starting from 6 a.m. and ending at 10 p.m. (as against the existing 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. limit).

BMC chief engineer (Development Plan) Vinod Chithore told The Hindu , “We had been receiving representations from stakeholders from the housing and construction industry for some time. There was no vehicular access to construction sites during peak hours. Loading and unloading work at sites was hindered. Today, technology is available for ensuring a reduced, if not muted, noise decibel level; for example, now only ready-mix cement is used. Similarly, the environment laws permit the new time extensions. Besides, there was no specific provision in the MRTP Act that prescribed to constrain the working hours. Hence the 6 am to 10 pm extended timings have been brought in to force as long as no nuisance is created to surrounding neighbourhoods.”

The city’s building lobby expressed happiness at the decision. Dharmesh Jain, managing director of Nirmal Lifestyle Ltd, said, “This will help speed up construction which is essential. The world over, construction activity is permitted till 10 pm. Mumbai is a metropolis that does not sleep before 11 p.m. to midnight. There is sense in the BMC decision.”

Another major builder, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said “Most sites were anyways running their construction activity well after the 7 p.m. deadline, up to 9 p.m., 9:30 p.m. This resulted in harassment by the police and civic agency, causing rampant corruption, which in turn added up to the cost of construction which was passed on to flat buyers. The new rule will expedite construction work around the city and have a positive bearing on construction activity.”

Civil society activists were not as pleased with the new rule. Former chief commissioner for the Right to Information, Shailesh Gandhi, said, “The administration feels that the growth of business interest is paramount while it is insensitive to citizen interests. Let them demonstrably show that new technology curbs noise pollution at construction sites effectively. I find it hard to believe this.” “Around Khar, where there is rampant construction activity, afternoon hours are difficult for senior citizens who look forward to a couple of hours of sleep,” said citizen activist Aftab Siddiqui. “The sound of tiles being cut is excruciatingly deafening. Till the BMC resorts to dismissals of its errant employees — rather than suspensions — for corruption and a nexus with developers, nothing good will be forthcoming for citizens.”

Indrani Malkani, managing trustee of the V Citizens Action Network, told The Hindu, “The extended hours for developers should be accompanied with riders to ensure adequate precaution to ensure noise levels from construction sites do not disturb residential neighbours. The enforcing agency should strictly enforce this. The distinction between private and public works has to be clear. Does the extended deadline also spill over to public construction activity?"

Mr. Jain sought to reassure citizens: “We as MCHI-CREDAI members will follow the order earnestly in a manner that it does not cause any inconvenience to the citizens.”

The writer is a freelance journalist.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.