New Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) Bemoaning the scarce attention accorded to the plumbing industry -- an integral part of the construction industry, the Indian Plumbing Association (IPA) Thursday urged the government to ensure implementation of safe plumbing standards by mandating installations compliant to approved codes and designs and ensure these through appropriate monitoring agencies.
"It is high time the government stepped in to implement safe plumbing standards by mandating installations compliant to approved codes and designs and by enforcing these through appropriate monitoring agencies," said Sudhakaran Nair, president, IPA - the apex body of plumbing professionals - in a statement.
Neglect of plumbing codes and standards in the absence of statutory support made a large number of buildings and installations prone to a sanitation, health and environmental disaster, the association warned.
Implementation of plumbing codes in developing countries will be a major topic on the agenda of the 10th World Plumbing Conference, a triennial event being organised by IPA here in November.
"Codes and standards can be effective only when they are implemented stringently through a legally bound system. Like in the case of BIS publications, our codes too are recommendatory in nature. Unfortunately, even our National Building Code is only recommendatory. The organised sector of the plumbing industry has welcomed these publications. Efforts are on for their wider acceptance by government bodies," said Nair.
"Most developed nations have stringent government regulations to monitor plumbing practices. In India, it needs to be legally embedded in the construction industry," he said, adding that: "Code-based plumbing systems should be made mandatory on every construction project."
About the challenges and problems faced by the plumbing industry, he said the three important elements essential to achieve safe plumbing installations are modern codes and standards, skilled personnel and technically correct materials and equipment.
"Not more than 20 to 25 per cent of the total volume of plumbing works in India is handled by the organised sector comprising experienced consultants and contractors. The rest are managed by just anyone!"
Plumbers, particularly apprentice plumbers, are an uneducated class, barely able to read or write in English. There is a need to develop the courses in the regional languages, he suggested.
IPA is making efforts to raise the technical knowledge of plumbing professionals through its Plumbing Education to Employment Programme (PEEP) in association with the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials-India (IAPMO-India)