How long illegal housing will claim the lives
Dotted with illegal structures violating building norms most metro cities in the country are venerable to disasters like that happened on July 6 killing 11 construction workers near Uttarapalayam in Tiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu. It was second incident of building collapse in the state in a week after an 11storey under construction building collapsed at Porur on June 28 in which 61 persons were killed.
It is not Tamil Nadu alone, illegal construction has emerged as a big threat to the cities across India. A four-story building collapsed in Delhi recently killing 10 people, including five children on 28 June. It was built on a plot nearly 19 square yards which violated the safety norms. Owners and builders of adjacent plot violated the orders to stop construction which is the main cause of that collapse. India has seen several similar tragedies in the past too, without any concrete action to check the menance. Nobody can forget the worst building collapse in Mumbai killing 72 people on April 4, 2013. Till July this year, 35 people have died in partial or total collapses of five structures across Mumbai.
All the buildings, which collapsed, were being constructed illegally and safety norms were violated. Fact is that a deadly cocktail of improper constructions, substandard material and lack of application are endangering countless lives. Municipal Corporation of Mumbai started a campaign to demolish illegal buildings, which had an effect for short duration of time.
Buildings in cities are not often well planned and strung together in cramped rows, without space between them. Corruption is the root cause of the illegal structures. Builders often pay hefty bribes to authorities who turn a blind eye to the buildings, which appear to have dangerous defects.
Arrest of those responsible for the collapses will not provide permanent solution. It only creates fear for a short duration. Government must take policy initiatives to increase affordable building stocks.
Adequate and affordable housing stock in the area will be the first preference of families who live in illegal buildings under the shadow of fear because no person likes to live in an illegal home putting his and his family life at risk. The new government should come up with polices to curb illegal building construction and provide affordable houses.
Arresting unemployment is our top priority—Kalraj Mishra
Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Kalraj Mishra said arresting unemployment is the top priority of his ministry and he would ensure that maximum people get employment within the shortest duration. Talking to Organiser he said promotion of micro, small and medium enterprises can play a key role in providing employment to maximum people. He said the people between the age 15 to 59 years is about 63 per cent and he would endeavour that their skills are refined and they play a key role in national development. He said skill development is effective medium of eradicating unemployment and poverty. He said his ministry has already starting taking steps in this regard.