National

CPWD removes ban on use of timber in its buildings

The Central Public Works Department this week ended a ban in place since 1993 on the use of timber in its construction projects, saying that the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) had asked for the ban to be lifted in order to boost the economy, generate jobs and encourage farmers to plant more trees.

“The MoEFCC has asked to remove the ban on use of wood in construction, since it will create demand for wood-based industries that would spur the local economy, particularly in rural areas, create large scale employment and encourage farmers and others to bring degraded areas under tree cover that, in turn, will augment production of a multitude of ecosystem services for the benefit of the country,” an office memorandum issued by the CPWD on Wednesday said.

The CPWD memo said that wood was a versatile material and the “life cycle economic cost of timber is also often much lower” in comparison to other construction materials.

“On the other hand, building materials such as steel, aluminium, PVC, glass, cement and polymers that are used in place of wood depend on non-renewable sources of raw materials with polluting and energy intensive methods of production, where as timber is naturally available,” it said.

‘Address climate change’

Capture and storage of atmospheric carbon in growing forests and timber would help in addressing climate change, the CPWD said, adding that India was committed to the target of creating an additional carbon sink equivalent to 2.5-3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030 and raising the demand for forest products was needed for that.

“Therefore, it has been decided to remove the ban on use of timber in construction and to promote its use in construction of buildings/habitat development,” it said.

The CPWD, which is the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry’s construction agency, carries out projects all over the country as well as in some international locations. The CPWD will also be carrying out the construction of the proposed new Parliament building and common Central Secretariat in Lutyens’ Delhi.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 9:14:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cpwd-removes-ban-on-use-of-timber-in-its-buildings/article31970892.ece

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