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SRA homes in Mumbai don’t get enough sunlight or ventilation, says study

Mumbai city news: The SRA scheme, introduced in 1995, had builders constructing multi-storeyed structures for the poor

mumbai Updated: Jun 06, 2017 01:39 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,Slum Rehabilitation Authority,National Building Code
Approximately 1.80 lakh families from slums have shifted to SRA buildings.(HT FILE)

Residents of older buildings and tenements constructed by the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) do not get enough sunlight and ventilation, says a study that highlights their poor design.

The study, conducted by the Environmental Policy Research Institute, said the design of the flats in these buildings did not meet the National Building Code (NBC) standards.

While NBC norms require homes to have a minimum of 150 lux (light is measured in luminous flux or lux), SRA homes get only 112-120 lux. Though the NBC has prescribed a minimum wind speed of 0.25 metres per second inside homes, the wind in these homes was negligible.“While the city strives for sustainable development on one end, on the other, citizens are not aware about the requirement of basic natural resources,” said Avick Sil, regional director, EPRI.

The SRA scheme, introduced in 1995, had builders constructing multi-storeyed structures for the poor. They financed the projects by selling of larger flats built alongside. Approximately 1.80 lakh families from slums have shifted to SRA buildings.

Lack of natural light and ventilation can cause various health problems, said researchers from EPRI. “Even if there is shortage of space in the city, faulty designs cannot be an excuse for causing health problems. The need for light and wind is leading to more electricity consumption and increase in carbon emissions,” added Sil. “There should be windows on either side of the house for cross-ventilation and the houses should ideally be oriented east to west.”

A resident of Ganpat Patil Nagar slum in Worli, which was redeveloped into the Mahalaxmi Nagar Cooperative Housing Society in 2012, said senior citizens were suffering because of inadequate ventilation. “People between the age group of 70 to 80 years need to step out of the house at least three to four times a day as there is only one window in our houses,” said Suryakant Khawale, a resident.

A senior state official said, “The SRA development control regulations are not following any NBC norms .”

First Published: Jun 06, 2017 01:37 IST