Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
In the Giridih mines area workers and staff are provided with rent-free accommodation. Formerly the workers built and repaired their own houses with materials supplied to them by the management. In 1921, however, this practice was discontinued and repairs to houses were done departmentally, as this was said to be more efficient and less wasteful of material. Arrangements were made to improve the housing accommodation in 1924-25, and so far over two lakhs of rupees have been spent in demolishing a large number of inferior houses and replacing them by new ones. The number of rooms allotted depends on the size of the family. Two types of houses have been constructed, one with a pucca concrete roof and the other with a tiled roof. The miners prefer houses of the latter type but, though they are cheaper to construct, the annual cost of repairing them is heavy. We discuss later the advantages of permitting employees to build their own houses, and, while we appreciate what has been done by the employers in this colliery area, we are not certain that the change of policy made in 1921 was a wise one, and we recommend that it be reconsidered. In this area, as in other mining areas, improvement schemes have been discontinued temporarily owing to financial stringency, and much remains to be done before a satisfactory standard of housing will exist over the whole field.