28/09/2010 by The Sorcerer
Some of you have those socket extension where you use it to charge your cellphone, laptop, bluetooth headset, TV and even computers hooked onto it but do you think its REALLY safe? Sure it has all that blow fuse and all- but seriously do you think that’s the only thing to take care of- even though you have paid for the best protection for your gadgets?
This monsoon was the worst moment that some people had to endure. A friend’s family bought a 3 bedroom hall in Andheri West and the entire structure was 4 years old. They did the entire renovation of the house- POP, painting, furniture- the works except electrical as it was done “recently”. During the monsoons- water started to seep through the walls to an extent that about 4 double bed size matterresses had to be put to prevent water damaging the furniture. The socket switches popped out and destroyed whatever was conncted on it- onkyo HT system and a sony 42 inch LCD (ouch!!).
Things went even more horrible during the midnight when his wife connected her laptop to charge through a socket which didn’t appear to have any leakage. Laptop was the least of her worries as the main electric box caught on fire. Thankfully it was controlled eventually and no1 was hurt. After series of arguments with the former owner and the society secretary, it was found out that the 6th floor did illegal extensions and on the top of that was a roof top terrace with a garden. Result- Yikes!
By the way the extention was done in the kitchen, the master bedroom and in the hall to make a way for a small wine cellar. The owner of that flat used cudappah stone slabs on the walls where the extensions were made, alongwith a lot of concrete+ plaster work to prevent any seepage problems being visible.
By the way- if you’re buying a flat- don’t buy it on the first floor. Take it from me- in the long term, its simply painful and irritating- irrespective of which locality you purchased your flat. Also don’t buy the last floor of the building, especially where water tanks are on top (usually all flats have atleast one water tank on top).
This wasn’t the only case that we heard of fire catching on due to electricity and its not limited to residential properties. Gazebo’s at linking road caught fire due to electric short circuit which resulted in damage at first, ground and couple of footwear stalls next to it. Currently they are renovating the ground floor but the 2 stalls next to it can’t afford for a renovation and it worse for them because they have to handle the menace created by the municipality guys.
When my sister was looking for a 1 bedroom hall in Andheri west, I’ve seen a lot of buildings with electric and telephone wires dangling around the stair cases around every floor. What made it even more suprising that people in the bulding who could afford to buy Audi and big SUVs didn’t bother to take care of their own society, despite paying society charges (including repair fund) regularly. Those buildings were not older than 10 years and its highly unlikely that you would see such conditions in not-so-old conditions even in the western suburbs.
Newer and unknown/famous builders somehow manage to secure a plot in the western suburbs but their worksmanship is absolutely horrible to the core. They will simply hire local plumber and an electrician who usually do small work like fixing fans or doing some small replacements like switches and stuff. Builders have also been known to use less amount of POP/concrete work on the walls/ceilings/ floors so that the extra space can be included when selling. If that wasn’t enough, there are times that they even measure the square feet of the apartment before doing last minute concrete work+ POP on the walls. A part of money being saved/earned are used to bribe municipality offers to “fasten” the process of getting an occupation certificate and a no-objection cerificate(even still, they start selling flats before acquiring them). I am no engineer but I am sure they can find even more faults as well.
There are 3 unfortunate reasons why people end up buying them-1. Affordability 2. Availability- and the 3rd reason is that majority of the flats are not sold to people/family belonging to a particular religion (many people living in Mumbai for a long time are well-aware about this and they don’t talk about although its pretty insulting in the worse way possible that despite being a natural citizen of this country, people are not allowed to purchase flats despite coming from a good financial, educational and social background).
The best thing you can do is get the flat checked by a proper engineer, especially those who have been in the construction business. If there are faults in the structure see if the builder/seller can straighten it out for you (you might pay a bit more but atleast get the job done properly). In the long term, its best to do it before purchase.