Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Resident labour is housed rent free and, almost without exception, the housing is provided by the employers without assistance from the Government or other public or private agency. In a few gardens materials for building purposes are provided by the managements the labourers in such cases erecting dwellings to suit their own requirements. Most of the houses are constructed of mud plaster with thatched roofs, and necessary repairs are carried out by the labourers themselves during the slack season, thatch being provided free. It has been the custom for employers to erect houses in long blocks of 8 to 12 rooms, but these should be suitably spaced out and should never be built back to back. The addition of suitable verandahs would also give some degree of privacy, a feature which is much appreciated, but has received too little consideration in the housing of labour, in the past. A more recent type we have seen meets all requirements in regard to space, light and ventilation, the houses being build in blocks of two rooms. Small families are allotted one room, but where the numbers necessitate additional space, both rooms are given over to the one family. We commend this method of construction to managers proposing to erect new housing for their workers. In plantations occupying hilly land, as in South India, the lines of houses were previously constructed, without plinths or drains, on sites lying on the banks of the streams running through the estates. This was convenient for the supply of water but objectionable as regards malarial infection. In most cases the incidence of the disease can be effectively reduced by selecting high ground for house sites, and all new construction should be governed by this principle.