Q13. A building permitted for three floors, while being extended illegally to 6 floors by a builder, collapses. As a consequence, a number of innocent labourers including women and children died. These labourers are migrants from different places. The government immediately announced cash relief to the aggrieved families and arrested the builder.
Give reasons for such incidents taking place across the country. Suggest measures to prevent their occurrence. (250 words, 20)
It is common for builders to make extra floors illegally with the active connivance of the local police and municipal officials. Builders often don’t care for safety since they don’t have to stay in these houses themselves.
Governments also come with amnesty schemes and regularise such illegal constructions, which further encourage builders to make huge profits by adding extra floors to buildings they are constructing.
Buildings also collapse due to the use of inferior quality of materials like bricks, steel-bars or cement. Often the design of the building is unsafe as competent architects are not employed by the builder.
Another disturbing aspect in this case is the employment of women and children in the construction activity, which is against the law. They are often the first to lose their lives as they are more vulnerable. Workers are also not provided with safety gears and adequate training that often leads to accidents and loss of life in the construction industry.
The measures suggested to prevent such types of accidents are as follows:-
• Immediate arrest of the builder for violating the law.
• Deaths due to illegal constructions must be deemed as murder and should be dealt accordingly.
• The government should upload the approved design on its website so the buyers are aware of the number of floors that can be legally built.
• Approval by a qualified architect must be made mandatory in each multi-storeyed construction.
• No amnesty scheme must be brought forth.
• The officers involved in commission and omission must be arrested and punished quickly.
• The Labour Department must conduct regular surveys of under-construction buildings and take action against such builders at the earliest. (262 words)