Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The necessity for additional legislation need not delay action by municipal councils and much preliminary work can and ought to be undertaken by these bodies. In the first place, only a minority have so far appointed qualified health officers and this defect should be remedied at the earliest possible opportunity, whilst municipal health organisations should also be improved and strengthened. Secondly, all bye-laws and regulations dealing with health, housing and sanitation should be revised and brought up to date. Under the existing law the duty is given to municipal councils of framing bye-laws on such matters, but instances are not wanting where these have never been prepared, and efficient enforcement of those in existence has rarely been practised. It should be the duty of the health officer, under instructions from his council, to see that all bye-laws are impartially and vigorously applied. In particular, all applications for permission to erect new buildings or to alter existing ones should be closely scrutinised in order to ensure that the grant of permission will not result in increased congestion. This policy should be pursued, not merely in respect of dwelling houses, but also in respect of factories, workshops and all other buildings. It should also be possible to proceed with the preparation of plans for the improvement and extension of areas set apart for housing schemes this is of special importance where existing industries • are growing and new industries are being established. There is every reason for hoping that Indian industry will make a substantial advance in the future, and a little forethought now may prevent grave evils in years to come. We recognise that in all these matters progress will not be easy until the social conscience has been aroused. But we believe that the presence within municipal councils of even a few leaders determined that these bodies should accept responsibility would exercise an important influence in making the community face the situation.