Petiton by Raja Shyam Sundar, Chennai

Even after almost 70 years of India’s independence, we do not have a regulatory system in place to ensure that the buildings that are being built in India are safe, aesthetic, and efficient. Most of our small towns are being built by  mistrys, masons who have turned into contractors, and people who do not have any technical or professional skills.

There is no regulation for Civil engineers, nor for Structural engineers, and there is no regulation which defines the difference between professionals who are educated in the design disciplines and those who are trained only to monitor and assist in construction. 

There is no hierarchy in place for site supervisors, clerks-of-works, quantity surveyors, quality surveyors, and the other various skills which are required to construct safe, aesthetic, and efficient buildings.

This lack of a regulatory mechanism is the main reason why our small towns and villages (sometimes even cities and suburbs), often look ugly, are built unsafely, and are not efficient in their usage of energy etc. While there is an Architects Act in place in the country, there are no corresponding acts for Civil Engineers, Structural Engineers, Site supervisors, and other trades which are needed for proper and good construction.

In the medical profession, there are regulators for specialists, doctors, nurses, OT staff, Laboratory technicians, and health facility workers of all types of skills which are required for proper professional care.

Developed countries have regulatory mechanisms for all the components of skills required for good building design and construction.

Similar regulator measures need to be put into place to ensure that persons who are not skilled enough to design and construct buildings (both big and small) are not allowed to either design or construct buildings. 

There is an urgent need for a National Building Regulation Act which can address these issues, and can bring Civil Engineers, Structural Engineers, Site supervisors, and other trades under a law which regulates both their education and professional conduct.

This is an appeal to the Prime Minister’s Office to initiate action to establish a regulatory mechanism for the Built Environment in India.