On March 31st 2016, one of the largest cities in India, Kolkata, witnessed a massive overpass collapsed. The massive structure collapsed onto a busy intersection in the commercial district of the city. According to multiple media outlets at least 20 individuals have been killed and up to 150 others were trapped after the overpass collapsed. Buildings and large structures failing to hold up seems to be a reoccurring attribute in the infrastructure of India.
“Building collapses are common in India, where regulations are poorly enforced and construction companies often use substandard materials” (Banerjee, 2016).
“Safety issues such as lack of inspections and the use of substandard materials have plagued construction projects in the country” (BBC News, 2016).
Below you will find a list from BBC News of reoccurring tragedies that India has encountered.
- August 2015: At least 11 people die after a building collapses near India’s western city of Mumbai
- July 2015: Five killed after a four-storey building collapses in Delhi
- April 2013: 74 people die after a high-rise residential building in Mumbai collapses
- June 2014: At least 10 people killed when a three-storey building in Delhi collapses
- June 2014: At least 60 people killed when a building collapses in a Chennai suburb
- November 2010: 69 killed and more than 80 injured in a collapse in Delhi
- September 2009: Chimney of a power plant in Chhattisgarh caves in, killing 40 people
A study conducted by Global Construction and Oxford Economics claims that India will become the world’s third largest construction market by 2025, adding 11.5 million homes a year to become a $1 trillion a year market. (2013, Sen) India might be growing into one of the largest construction markets in the world but being in the headlines for recurring tragedies is an issue the construction market needs to re-evaluate. Engineers and contractors working in India need re-ensure that safety is in the forefront of all projects.
Safety is not taken lightly within the construction industry. It is stated in hundreds of construction company’s mission statements and is part of all of their values. The value of safety is not only for those working in the industry but also for the individuals of a community. Companies in India need to ensure that the value of safety is explicit so Indian communities and families do not have to have reoccurring tragedies.