Putting safety first

Our homes are increasingly becoming unsafe. What makes it worse is that there is no regulating body to ensure that the owners of the buildings and tenants maintain certain safety measures.

Terraces and balconies of our buildings are filled with heavy flowerpots. And they hang dangerously on worryingly weedy suspension systems. Accidents happen. Things could be hurled down inadvertently or be pushed by natural events like storm and wind. This is going to be very dangerous for people walking below.

In fact, just a few months ago, a falling flowerpot hit a boy in the town. It was his good fortune that the massive pot shooting down from a five-storey building did not get him on the head. Repercussions could have been serious. The boy escaped with minor injuries.

Balconies of the buildings in the core town are filled with strange loads and flowerpots of kinds and kinds. And the season of wind has set in. Pedestrians and shoppers are exposed to serious risk. Who ought to look at such matters? Who should be held responsible?

There is no regulation that mandates the thromde to make sure that buildings in the town maintain required safety measures. There are no rules that manifestly forbid tenants from stocking up heavy objects on the balconies.

There is a need so to address this issue urgently. It falls upon the thromdes to monitor such matters in the buildings in the towns. Regulations must be made and implemented earnestly. And it falls upon the owners of the buildings to make sure that tenants do not endanger lives of people in the vicinity.

Lack of coordination between thromdes, building owners and tenants cannot be an excuse anymore. Safety should be the top priority. Growing flowers could be someone’s hobby, but hobbies can be practised safely. Balconies are no places to grow flowers, especially on the terraces of tall buildings.

Thromdes must make sure that buildings in town do not allow tenants to place flowerpots precariously on the balconies. Building owners outside of town should make sure that tenants do not stock up heavy objects that could endanger the lives of people in the neighbourhood.

It is time we had some stringent rules and regulations pertaining to the buildings and their occupants. The sooner we come up with one, the better.

1 reply
  1. irfan
    irfan says:

    “They look so beautiful this way”…and this, at best, can only be considered a rather incomplete praise for the design architecture of Bhutanese buildings. The designs of today’s modern buildings not only depict the unique culture in construction in the country, but they probably also portray the history of that unique “infrastructure-environment” conflict.

    If gardening is a hobby; I must agree that I have seen households do gardening on balconies and terraces. May be that it’s not getting done with a proper thought on safety in the surroundings. If that’s the matter of concern, it needs to be looked at before more serious accidents happen.

    But no regulatory body can achieve what’s intended unless we start to practise safety for us and also for others. And it also shouldn’t suggest that households move to using plastic or such alternative materials for their flower pots in future so that the pedestrians below can avoid wearing the helmets.

    Safety always needs a well intended approach by those who are responsible for it and demands positive awareness to be practised. Even that doesn’t necessarily mean organising awareness camps for safety. It may not always serve the purpose.

    Bhutanese buildings are also known for using woodwork in the windows, balconies and even in the roofs. But I haven’t seen many houses with protective grille provided at the windows and balconies. And even that can be considered unsafe. A strong wind or a severe storm can even blow off the entire roof of a tall building. Safety has usually been a well intended practice of highly human like awareness and thromdes can definitely contribute in that department.

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