UNPROFESSIONALISM IN CIVIL ENGINEERING? INTERESTING ARTICLE BY ER.(Prof.) MAINAK GHOSAL

UNPROFESSIONALISM IN CIVIL ENGINEERING?

Prof. Mainak Ghosal

In recent years, there has been a noticeable decline in the stature of the civil engineering profession both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Recently in 2019, the Supreme Court of India ordered five apartments under Maradu municipality in Kochi, Ernakulam, Kerala to be demolished within one month, for violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules by allowing construction within 500mts from the coastal zone.

In its order on May 8, 2019, the Supreme Court division bench of Justice Arun and Navin Sinha said, permission granted by the local Maradu panchayat was illegal and void. “No such development activity could have taken place.

In view of the findings of the Enquiry Committee, let all the structures be removed forthwith within a period of one month from May 8, 2019, and compliance reported to this court.” On September 6th, the Supreme Court initiated a sou moto case against the state government for not complying with its May 8 verdict and issued an ultimatum to raze the buildings by September 20th.

The demolition was ultimately carried out in February 2020, despite mass agitation by the 367 flat residents(families) who were staying in those buildings for the past seven (7) years, against the eviction notices. The Supreme Court refused to entertain seventeen number review petitions and ordered the Kerala state government to proceed with the demolitions.

Very interestingly, the same structural engineer who had designed and constructed the building- was handed the job of dismantling thus assuming the dual role of Brahma- ‘the creator’ & Shiva- ‘the destroyer’.

Examples are galore where buildings even high-rises have been designed and constructed by people who are not even engineering graduates subjecting the nation to the threat of futuristic grave dangers lurking behind, leave alone the vulnerability aspects of the structure itself.

With India’s four megapolis (erstwhile metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata & Chennai, and even cities non-metros like Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, and Hyderabad ) in Zone III/IV seismic regions and 56% land area with 82% population of our country coming in the moderate-to-severe seismic hazard zones, one can imagine the penalty we may have to pay or will have to pay in ignoring or neglecting the potential professional risks involved in pursuing the trade of the mother of all engineering – the Civil Engineering.

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Compiled by:-

Er. Mainak Ghosal

PhD (pursuing), ME (Struct.), PGDM, MBA (HR), MIE, MSc (REV), BSc, FIV

Consultant, Banking & Construction Industry, Former Faculty — JIS College of Engineering, Kalyani, Nadia, Bengal, and Global Institute of Management & Technology (GIMT), Krishnanagar, Nadia, Bengal. The Author was formerly associated with PHED, Govt. of Bengal as Assistant Engineer (Civil).

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