Accidents at construction sites not new
Accidents at construction sites resulting in death of daily wage workers like the one which occurred in Madhapur some days back, are not new and have occurred earlier many times in Hyderabad and elsewhere in the country. Prof NV Ramana Rao, Rector of JNTU-Hyderabad and a civil engineering expert has in the past two decades submitted reports on factors behind 40 such accidents that occurred in Hyderabad.
Prof. Rao raised the need to make real estate builders behave more responsibly, through sensitising them as well as taking strict action against the defaulters that would discourage others from disregarding safety measures.
“In India, like in many parts of the world once the builders get the required permissions and start construction work, there is no special authority to keep a tab on the practices they follow at the construction site.”
“Moreover, there are so many construction works going on everyday that it is impossible to keep an eye on each site. In such a situation the onus is completely on the builders to take all measures possible to avoid untoward incidents,” prof Rao says.
How knowledgeable are builders?
“Most of the builders are not from civil engineering background. The engineering works are looked after by civil engineers hired by builders. However, some builders resort to hiring engineers who are not from good colleges or who do not have very good knowledge on safety measures, so that they can be paid less,” prof Rao says.
Prof Rao has been conducting seminars to sensitize builders on the preventive measures needed to be taken to avoid accidents. He says, “I conduct a seminar only when I am invited. However, I have observed that only few builders show genuine interest. Many either do not come for the seminar or attend it just for the sake of formality.”
Guidelines exist but few follow
Prof Rao says, “There are various standards like the code set by Bureau of Indian Standards and National Building Code. There are basic civil engineering techniques which if implemented will prevent major hazards. Moreover there are rules regarding safety of labour. If all these guidenlines and rules are followed many lives will be saved each year. Unfortunately, very few builders follow them.”