The problem that I picked is one that is seen commonly. In many construction sites, material is heaped on roads and small children are running about in the same vicinity as heavy equipment. This is something that should be changed.
PROBLEM STATEMENT: How can we solve the inconveniences of construction sites?
There are two construction sites on my street currently and there have been many more. I have interviewed some people who have been in close proximity with the inconveniences of construction sites and this is their say.
Mrs. Mangala Kumaraswamy
Q1: You’ve seen material from construction sites being dumped on roads. It’s an inconvenience. When you were constructing your own apartments, I noticed that your piles of materials were also on the roads.
Ans: We specifically told our builders to bring the material required only for that day. We asked them not to put it on the roads – sometimes it’s inevitable, but we tried to avid it as much as possible. Our opposite neighbours didn’t complain much, in fact they pointed out areas for us to put our materials and said they’d move their car.
Q2: Do you think that the ‘specific materials’ strategy will work on a larger scale, with the government?
Ans: The government won’t listen. It’s very difficult to get them to listen. You could try talking to the city corporation, or write an article in a newspaper. Maybe you can even write an open letter to Jayalalitha.
Q3: How are you affected by construction?
Ans: The house on our left when it was being constructed gave us some trouble – cement would fall and dent our car, plaster would splash on our walls and sand would fall from the third floor. We kept asking them if they could do something to prevent this, but they never did anything.
Mrs. Meena Daniel
Q1: You’ve seen many children playing and running around in construction sites. What do you think about that?
Ans: It’s very dangerous. It really shouldn’t be allowed. Contractors shouldn’t allow small children in these areas.
Q2: What do you think should be done about it?
Ans: They can go to a school during the day. Or on small developments, the contractors should organise a crèche and the children should stay there with somebody to watch over them. But I think there shouldn’t be a solution; it just shouldn’t be allowed.
Q1: Your shop is right opposite a construction site. Are you facing any problems?
Ans: Yes, the dust from the cement blows into the shop and covers the goods. There’s a lot of dust.
Q2: What can be done about it?
Ans: They can put up nets to prevent the dust from flying around.
Q3: You have seen small children in this particular site. What do you think about it?
Ans: Earlier the children used to stay here, but now they don’t. It’s very unsafe.
There are certain laws regarding construction sites and their elements. Material is not supposed to be left out on roads – in some places, builders cannot afford to do that. For instance, in Tokyo, it’s ridiculous to think of heaping material on roads. They follow a policy of bringing the required materials for a day and there is a materials supervisor to watch over it.
As for children, there should be firmer enforcing of the rules that children are not allowed in construction sites. Good implementation of the rules doesn’t allow room for loopholes.
We can do our best, working towards solving this problem as best as we can.