Government urged to overhaul the quality control mechanism in the TNUHDB and assess all tenements
In the wake of the collapse of Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board tenements on Village Street in Tiruvottiyur, activists have demanded an overhaul of the board’s quality control mechanism and a study of the quality of the old tenements across the State.
J. Sebastin, coordinator of the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board Residents’ Welfare Committee, said the government had asked all schools to inspect the quality of buildings following the recent collapse of a restroom in a school in Tirunelveli that killed three students. “The government should show the same commitment to inspect its own slum board tenements,” he said, and added that a comprehensive study of the quality of all buildings should be done.
The poor quality of the recently constructed building in K.P. Park and that of the older buildings in Tiruvottiyur showed that the issues related to quality were fundamental, he said.
Vanessa Peter, founder, Information and Resource Centre for the Deprived Urban Communities – (IRCDUC), in a statement, said that there was a need for evolving a permanent mechanism in the board to initiate regular third party quality audits of tenements across Tamil Nadu. Priority should be given to older tenements in this exercise, with specific timeline for demolition and reconstruction of dilapidated tenements with enhanced community participation. She stressed on the need to provide alternative flats to the affected families closest to their current location. “These low-income families have lost all their belongings and providing an alternative accommodation farther from their places of livelihood will have a further adverse impact on their lives,” she said.
G. Selva, district secretary, Chennai Central district unit of Communist Party of India (Marxist), said the incident showed that the quality control measures in the board had failed.