Concerned that houses for slum dwellers are being created sub-par, the state government intends to obligate builders to give a warranty certificate for them, and disclose the amount spent on constructing per square foot of the rehabilitation dwellings as well as the saleable flats.
Ravindra Waikar, state housing minister, said, “The buildings constructed by the British are still in a good condition while those being constructed by private developers do not withstand few monsoons these days. Hence we want them to have a warranty certificate like the one provided for various public projects in the city.”
The state will appoint a panel of architects to assess the building design approved by the builder. This will clearly show the quality of habitation slum dwellers get. As per Waikar, builders who construct flats for slum dwellers are creating nothing but vertical slums.
“We want builders to construct slum dwellers’ flats with the same quality that they employ for the saleable component. After all, they make profits because of the slum dwellers.” He added, “It won’t be tolerated if they have a construction cost of, say, R2,500 per square foot for the saleable part but R800 for the rehabilitation building.
The quality of homes of slum dwellers cannot be bad. We need to improve their living standards too,” said Waikar. The minister claimed these checks would improve the lifestyle of slum dwellers, but said the warranty period for buildings is still to be decided.
When this reporter contacted a premium builders’ lobby, they said they would not comment on the minister’s remarks officially, as they had not been made aware of any panel being set up. “We aren’t constructing second-class buildings for slum dwellers.
This warranty period may be a good move, but the government should first check the MHADA buildings that are in bad shape before they come after us,” said the builder.
The government wants builders to ensure the same quality for rehab buildings and saleable portions on these criteria:
>> Tiles granite and marble
>> Construction cost per square foot
>> Quality of doors, frames, fixtures etc