Well when applied to our real estate many will say the above quote is a mockery of the industry as whenever the term quality product is referred, builders certainly are not up in the line. This again many of my colleagues won’t like but that is the general feeling of common man I am sharing. There was a letter in "Sakal Vastu" by Mr. Sandeep Khardekar about the quality of the present construction as well responsibilities for the faults in the same. After reading that letter, the builder as well engineer in me can’t keep mum & that’s the subject of this sharing.
Mr. Khardekar has compared our today’s construction with British time structures & then there were issues about what is the life of the present buildings considered while building them & what about the faults like leakages as well cracks to the plaster etc. He also has raised the point about certifying the ongoing construction & punishment to the concerned for faulty work or making. All the points are very much valid though the answers may not be as simple as it looks because most will say what’s big deal no doubt the builder is responsible & punish him for any such fault. Well, may be true in some extent but before concluding we need to look at the issues in holistic angle as its not whose fault it is but how we are going to pin up the responsibilities & what are the reasons behind the faults is much more important to know. As speaking about Credai or MBVA i.e. both are the builder's organizations, no member will wish that his buildings should have faults & neither will he love to face complaints from the customer. Rather no builder who wants to be in business for longer time will like to have such things in his buildings.
Then why there are such cases of bad quality construction & conflicts over the maintenance between customer & the builder? Let’s understand the building construction process for that. Still in our country to a majority extent building construction or any civil activity is being done by manual labor & the material used is whatever locally available. In a way unlike any factory made product where most of the work processes are being done by machines here it’s done by manual methods & that does creates quality related issues. Also no standardization of the construction practices is here. There is an IS building code for construction practices but at many places it’s vague & not pertaining to the specific local conditions which are limitations too, for the builder. For example getting sand or metal of proper size & grade for the construction work. For this the builder is totally dependent on the local market material only. Most important there is no controlling authority control for building construction. The local authorities like Municipal Corporations are interested in just sanctioning process which is FSI or zoning related & they are not ready to take responsibility of quality. Though they do ask for structural stability type’s certification from the licensed structural designer, that’s it! And it’s assumed that the architect is supposed to look after the quality part of the building construction, but his role too is limited for checking dimensions as well plot margins type things & all the actual construction work is left to the developer & his contractors. Here again there isn’t any system to confirm technical qualifications of the builder or his contractor neither to check whether there is any technically qualified staff is available at site for quality checking. These are the basic lacunas which lead to future faults in construction.
Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune
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