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Finally, works department wakes up to safety of buildings

Comments Off on Finally, works department wakes up to safety of buildings   |   February 22, 2014    11:01am   |Contributed by manoja

KOZHIKODE: After several incidents of building collapses and related mishaps, the construction sector in Kozhikode finally has some good news. In a bid to ensure use of quality construction material, the works department in the district plans to enable members of the public to conduct quality tests on material used in the construction of houses and other buildings at its soon-to-be-open Regional Quality Control Laboratory.

Work of the laboratory has been progressing at the PWD rest house compound at West Hill on a war footing.

The laboratory is being set up as part of the public works department’s decision to construct eleven quality control laboratories, besides two regional labs in Kozhikode and Ernakulam. The prime aim of the laboratory is to carry out mandatory testing to ensure the quality of material being used to construct roads, buildings, bridges and pavements under the PWD. The PWD plans to expand the facility to the public by levying a fee to carry out the quality checks.

The lab at the rest house compound will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 70 lakh and will carry out tests on around 70 types of materials being used for construction materials. There will be separate quality check facilities for concrete, cement, bricks, bitumen, steel, metals, tiles, soil, sand , manufactured sand, cement, iron rods as well as those to determine the strength of bricks and other materials.

“The lab will be of great help to the people as most individuals have no clear idea about selecting good-quality construction materials when they set out to build houses,” said K Divya a resident of Pavangad. “We are worried about recents reports regarding the collapse of under-construction houses in the district. We want the public works department to expand the facility to the public at the earliest,” she said.

K Lekha, an official with the Regional Quality Control laboratory said the lab has been chiefly established to check the quality of construction materials used for works of the PWD. “There is also a proposal to introduce the service to the public after a while so that they can assess the quality of materials used to construct houses as well,” she said adding that, “A fee will be charged from the public for this purpose and will depend on the materials concerned and the type of tests. The construction of the building is expected to be complete by the end of March,” said the official.


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