Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) has been particular about ensuring wellbeing of construction workers for its projects. The Institute considers it important to enable workers to lead their life with dignity. It is not uncommon in India to see construction workers living in very poor housing and living conditions and this has been a major concern to IITGN since its inception.
In the first phase of its campus construction during 2013-2015, clean, hygienic and well-ventilated labour housing were constructed at IITGN Palaj campus. The IIT Council had appreciated the labour welfare and community outreach practices at IIT Gandhinagar and expressed “The exemplary practices of IIT Gandhinagar should be introduced in all IITs and be shared on the IIT Council website.”
The same practice continues and for its forthcoming construction of Guest House, its contractor – M/s Shanti Constructions – has put in place model workers’ housing in Palaj village, which is being inaugurated today. They have constructed housing for 128 construction workers, with toilet blocks having water closet, wash basin & bathing area, and arrangement for sewage disposal through appropriate septic tanks. IITGN worked closely with CPWD for ensuring this by incorporation of special conditions and drawings in the contract, specifying number of units to be constructed at the beginning of the project. Substantial recoveries can be made per day for delay in construction of these units and above all, the contractor cannot proceed with the main work until these units are constructed.
We aspire to prepare graduates that are sensitive to societal needs. This cannot happen if the Institute does not exhibit its own strong commitment to the less-privileged members of our community. We are very thankful to the CPWD colleagues and the contractors for sharing our concerns on this.Prof S K Jain
Taking this to a higher level in the current phase of construction, specifications for these units have also been incorporated in the contracts in addition to special conditions and drawings. Besides this, a pocket of land in the North Campus has been demarcated for setting up of these units. The approach road and development works for this pocket has been completed by IITGN. In current phase, housing for 1,264 workers with all utilities shall be constructed.