India’s Central Public Works Department lifts ban on use of timber in building construction

After over 25 years, the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) in India has ended a ban on the use of timber in its construction projects. This comes after the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) asked for the ban to be lifted to spur the economy, create jobs and encourage farmers to plant more trees.

The use of timber in the CPWD’s projects was banned in 1993.

“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,” said the CPWD in an office memorandum.

The CPWD is the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry’s largest construction agency and carries out state projects all over the country as well as in some international locations.