The need to streamline the construction industry

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The need to streamline the construction industry

Post by Lexie on Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:23 am

The impact of the various restrictions and the delay in housing construction has given rise to a spurt in unauthorized building construction in the major cities of Trivandrum and Kochi, where the demand for shelter/built-up space is so great that the owners/builders are ignoring the laws governing the construction of new buildings. 
 
In the process, the owners are being lured by the builders/developers to build as economically as possible in order to reduce the cost of construction; in some cases the Builders in Kochi are building structures which are structurally unsafe.  Consequently, within the last 20 months three multi-storey buildings (under construction) have collapsed causing much loss to both the builder and those living around. 
 
Even in cities like Kozhikode, a number of old buildings have collapsed on account of overcrowding in old buildings and also on account of addition of new floors (unauthorized) to old buildings.  It reveals the gravity of the problem, which continues to be given the least priority by the state government.  Only when there is an accident and loss of human lives, the government adopts some emergency steps, even though these steps are only ‘crisis management’ measures and not a long-term solution to streamlining the housing construction activities.
 
In spite of the fact that the private sector continues to make more than 80 percent of the total investment in housing, the government has failed to classify housing as an industry.  Consequently, the incentives that are given the various industries are being taken away from the building industry.  The government must take immediate steps to offer all the benefits (tax relief, tax incentives, subsidized inputs, excise relief on materials, loans on easy terms etc) to the building contractors, property developers, manufacturers of building materials and suppliers of raw materials.  The building construction firms and materials’ manufacturers now constitute the third largest employer in the state.  As such, the Central government must declare housing as an industry.

Lexie

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