Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
We have already stressed the necessity for the formation of a Ministry of Health in each province and for the passing of a comprehensive Public Health Act. By the passing of suitable legislative measures Government would find themselves in a much stronger position to deal with the present impasse and would be able to enforce action on local authorities who were unwilling to respond. For the control of housing, the Ministry of Health should lay down minimum standards in regard to floor and cubic space, ventilation and lighting, and these standards should be incorporated by all local authorities in their building bye-laws. The provision of water supplies, drainage systems and latrines for working class housing schemes should also be governed by regulations drawn up by the Ministry. Without these necessary safeguards, new housing schemes would speedily reproduce the very conditions they were intended to remove. The preparation and issue of model bye-laws by the Ministry of Health would be of great assistance to local authorities, and Governments should insist on their adoption, with modifications necessitated by local conditions, within a specified period. In order to assist employers and others desirous of building working class houses, Public Health Departments should also prepare plans, with approximate costs, of different types of houses, and be available for advice, thus preventing expenditure on schemes which do not conform to recognised health standards. We suggest that, in future, type-plans should provide more than the single room which for so long has been considered adequate for the average worker. The addition of a small room for storing utensils and for cooking and washing should be considered a necessity rather than, as at present, a luxury, and a verandah in front would give the worker and his family the much appreciated privacy so seldom obtained at present.. Similarly, plans of approved types of latrines should be. made available, and no housing scheme should be considered complete unless a sufficient number of sanitary conveniences are included.