Qual­ity not im­por­tant

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Van­dana Ram­nani

As no re gu­la­tion or rule in the real es­tate sec­tor rec­om­mends checks on qual­ity of ma­te­rial used for con­struc­tion of build­ings, lakhs of lives in In­dia are at risk in dan­ger­ous and un­safe build­ings dot­ting our cities and towns.

Thanks to au­thor­i­ties tur ning a blind eye to qual­ity of con­struc­tion ma­te­rial, of­ten, builders save money by us­ing sub­stan­dard iron and ce­ment. What is a mat­ter of grave con­cern is that the big­gest com­pro­mises are made in use of con­crete. The qual­ity rec­om­mended is of the strength of M40, M35 and M30. Con­crete comes from ready mix plants and in some cases these are lo­cated on­site. How­ever, there is no qual­ity con­trol that takes place in 90% of these plants. If sam­ples were to be tested in most sites the qual­ity used would be M15, say struc­tural en­gi­neers. There are spe­cific codes in place that state what qual­ity con­crete is to be used for col­umns and sheer walls and for beams and slabs.

The sec­ond is­sue is that of l icensed struc­tural en­gi­neers. While there is a Coun­cil of Ar­chi­tects that is­sues li­censes to ar­chi­tects, there is no nodal body such as a coun­cil of struc­tural en­gi­neers that can is­sue li­censes to them. The prac­tice is not reg­u­lated. So, any­body who has a de­gree in civil en­gi­neer­ing can de­sign a build­ing. There is also no fear of get­ting one’s li­cense ter­mi­nated in case a build­ing were to crash due to faulty de­sign of the struc­ture.

To re­duce costs, most de­vel­op­ers hire low-rung en­gi­neers. Many ar­chi­tects of­fer ser­vices for in­house struc­tural de­signs – some­thing they should not be do­ing.

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