Several walls in Tamil Nadu Housing Board houses in Ambattur built in 2019 have developed massive cracks, while in a few several unoccupied houses, the cement plastering has come off.
At houses 105, 202, 211 and 212, in a tower used as a Covid-19 care centre, walls are damaged, doors broken, toilet pipes damaged and lifts defunct. Constant water seepage has left wet patches on walls. Each of the 640 sqft houses are to be sold to public at 3,500 persqft soon. The occupied towers too are not unscathed. “We got the houses in 2020.
There are cracks and water seepages already on the 16th floor. The floor too is of poor quality and the lift didn’t work for several weeks. I had to climb 16 floors,” said Senthilkumar Vellachamy, secretary of block-1 flat owners association, adding that there’s no water treatment plant. He said 40 of the 140 houses in the blockare yet to be sold.
Suresh C Nair, president of block-8 welfare association, said wall cracks expand when a nail is hammered in. “There’s heavy sand dust. This is a cheap quality building and we have written to TNHB officials. They do patch u p and do repair work based on complaints,” he said, adding that he found empty cement bags below when he replaced tiles.
Ravindra Gettu, professor of civil engineering at IITM, said with concrete constructions, cement, sand and water must be mixed precisely and compacted well.
“People add more water to make concrete easy to work with. This affects quality and weaken s the structure. ” Minister for housing S Muthusamy said he would check with officials and look into the issue. Earlier, instances of slum board houses in KP Park in North Chennai having poor quality constructions were flagged too, and a few officials were suspended.