Moneylife Impact: Model Guidelines for Retirement Homes Announced by Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs
In line with his assurance on 9th February, at Moneylife Foundation's 9th Anniversary programme, Hardeep Singh Puri, Union minister of state for housing and urban affairs (independent charge), released 'Model Guidelines for Development and Regulation of Retirement Homes' on Wednesday. 
 
"The model guideline envisages to promote quality of life for the elderly people of the country and ensures protection of their rights. I am sure that implementation of this guideline by all the stakeholders will address core issues of the senior most section of the society," Mr Puri said while releasing the model guidelines for retirement homes. 
 
 
The model guidelines from ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA) would enable states and union territories (UTs) to establish transparency and accountability with customised redressal of issues pertaining to exclusive housing projects for senior citizens like retirement homes. 
 
"It will enable an appropriate regulatory environment where the rights of senior citizens are protected and their special needs are addressed. It will bring investment in this special category of real estate, where demand is expected to grow steadily throughout the 21st century," Mr Puri says.
 
The model guidelines specifies 'basic rights of resident of retirement home' and also prescribe the model tripartite agreement. It also suggested standards and norms for building design, green building principles, lifts and staircases, corridors, services standards and living environment to be provided to senior citizens in retirement homes along with the basic amenities; medical and fitness, safety and security.
 
According to the minister, the objective of these model guidelines is to guide state and Union Territories (UTs) and urban local bodies (ULBs) towards promoting quality of life for the senior citizens through setting up norms and standards to be followed by the retirement homes operators, service-providers and developers in respect of retirement home projects.
 
The ministry had appointed a committee to examine the needs of senior citizens and other related apparatus that deals with this subject. The committee referred to a report on retirement homes prepared and submitted by Moneylife Foundation.
 
A report from Moneylife Foundation prepared for HDFC  had highlighted the need to cater to the regulation of retirement homes in India. The study focuses on the experiences of residents of retirement homes in the cities of Coimbatore, Pune and Bengaluru that lead the development of retirement homes in their States. 
 
A key finding of the Moneylife Foundation study was that "close to 65% of the respondents, who were interviewed had not signed a contractual agreement that defines the terms of service, close to 90% of them had not anticipated any increases in maintenance charges over time and over 70% said that there was no residents council that would give them some say in the running of the homes".
 
 
The study further observes that in the absence of specific regulations to govern retirement homes, the residents are vulnerable to various forms of exploitation and mistreatment and their only recourse is to file a civil case, which is cumbersome. Most grievances of the residents of the retirement homes are related to poor delivery of services, despite collection of high maintenance charges. These grievances primarily arise because of lack of transparency and accountability on the part of promoter, developer and service provider with regard to their financial transactions and promised service and facilities, the report pointed out.
 
In a statement, the ministry says, "As brought out in the said Report, the problems of the residents of the retirement homes pertain to the contractual relationship. Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) provides for a framework for regulating all real estate projects. In addition to this MoHUA also has the mandated to prepare policies, standards and good practices for real estate sector including housing, urban infrastructure and services." 
 
"MoHUA works in collaboration with state governments, as matters relating to 'land and colonization' are constitutionally mandated to the states and UTs. Recognising its role and responsibility with regard to the regulation of real estate in particular and urban development and housing in general, MoHUA has drafted a set of model guidelines, which can be implemented by the state governments and union territories to regulate the retirement homes in order to ensure independent and dignified life after retirement," it added.

 
The population of senior citizens is expected to grow to 173 million by 2025—more than double in a little over one decade—and will further increase to about 240 million by 2050. The population share of senior citizens will increase to 19% in 2050 from 8% in 2015 and it is expected that by the end of the century, senior citizens will constitute nearly 34% of the total population of the country.
 
The Model Guidelines States that:
  • Retirement homes should be aligned with the principles, guidelines, norms, etc., as prescribed in 'national building code' (nbc), 'model building bye laws' and 'harmonised guidelines and space standards for barrier free built environment for persons with disability and elderly persons'.
  • Elderly friendly built environment like lifts with audio and visual signage and signalling systems, wheelchair accessibility, mandatory ramps, design of spaces to enable barrier free movement, anti-skid tiles in bathrooms and stairs, elderly friendly design of door-knobs, hand rails, and furniture, kitchens with gas leak detection systems, power back-up facilities in corridors, lobby, lifts and apartments.
  • Compliance with green building principles as provided in model building bye laws and use of non-polluting and renewable energy.
  • Provision of common basic services like 24X7 water and electricity supply, maintenance of proper hygiene, indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, security and housekeeping, single window facilities and helpdesk, transportation assistance, yoga and fitness facilities, and care giving facilities.
  • Provision of basic medical, safety and security services like 24x7 on-site ambulance service, mandatory tie-up with emergency facilities with the nearest hospitals and pharmacy, medical emergency room, regular medical check-up of residents, emergency alarm systems, trained and skilled security personnel, CCTV cameras in common areas, prior police verification of all the personnel deployed in the retirement homes.
  • Customised services over and above the basic common services like internal and external housekeeping, managing dining services, and assistance with legal services, if required by the residents has also been prescribed.
Transparency in Fund Utilisation
  • Provision of a twofold mechanism in the form of refundable interest-free maintenance security deposit (IFMS) and maintenance charges. IFMS to be paid by the allottee which is refundable within a maximum period of three months from the date of refund application. Maintenance charges to be paid by the resident on lump-sum or monthly/ quarterly/ yearly instalments on mutually agreed terms.
 
Regulation of Retirement Homes
  • Retirement home apartments can only be sold after registration under the respective Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) of the states/UTs. To protect the rights of the residents a list of 'basic rights of the allottee/resident of a retirement home' has been stipulated.
  • The model guidelines provide for disclosure of technical skill of the service-provider at the time of executing the 'agreement to sale' in the form of a 'tri-partite agreement' to be executed among the developer, service provider /retirement home operators and allottee.
  • To ensure implementation of the guidelines, a task force for constant dialogue with states/UTs and other stakeholders will be set by ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA).
  • Setting up of appropriate monitoring committees by the state/ut authorities for timely implementation of all applicable laws, regulations, rules and guidelines governing the retirement homes, under the supervision of MoHUA.
  • The model guidelines will encourage inclusive growth wherein states/UTs are required to review and align their policies and regulations and institutionalise appropriate mechanisms on retirement homes.
  • The model guidelines will enable all states/UTs to align their policies and regulations in line with these Model Guidelines to ensure the protection of rights of the senior citizens and promote a dignified life after retirement.  The implementation of these guidelines will boost investment in the retirement home segment, contribute in employment generation in service sector industries associated with retirement homes.
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COMMENTS

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

3 months ago

Let this old age home project come to reality in its plan, before Lok Sabha Election code of conduct is announced.

Peruvemba Subramanian Ramachandran

3 months ago

Thanks very much Suchetaji and your team or your untiring efforts on behalf of all the seniors from Nana Nani.

As I write this, the TN Govt has not even implemented the GO 83 of 2016 and has been forced by the Madras High Court in Contempt Petitions to visit Sr Citizen Homes in Coimbatore where rampant fundamental violations are taking place and to report by 19th March 19.
Yet they are instead of being on the side of seniors, are trying to white wash the HC directions without forcing the service providers to comply with the GO.

Harish Kohli

3 months ago

Mr. Puri is, unlike most of his breed, a committed minister and it's good that Moneylife is supporting him in the absolute need to make things better for the Senior citizens. Having experienced the caring for my mother (late 80s) and mother in law (mid 90s), I can say that both are stressed. The parents from guilt for putting the children through the troubles, the children for the guilt of not able to do enough. I am very clear that we both will go to a retirement home and this creates arguments with the children. Well this bond in the family is a part of Indian culture.
Having taken this subject to it's heart, I do hope Moneylife will continue to pursue this field as it does on investments. Even if you have to charge, do keep readers informed about the changes and good homes coming up. It will be a yeoman service
You have Lion, Panther, Antelope. We could think of a name for this service.
And at the cost of being immodest, I pat my back and say I am a good son and a good son-in-law.

REPLY

Sucheta Dalal

In Reply to Harish Kohli 3 months ago

Thank you Mr Kohli for your support, as always. You may like to see our detailed report, which is on the foundation website -- it is the first report on this link : http://foundation.moneylife.in/memorandums/#

Leonora Machado

In Reply to Harish Kohli 3 months ago

GOD BLESS

Needed: Election Manifesto for the 80 million Disabled Citizens
Indians with disability have been ignored for too long.
 
We as a community of 80 million people demand that each of the parties standing for the forthcoming elections must mention in measurable terms, with specific timelines, what exactly they will do for the people with disabilities.
 
Taxes of all types are being imposed on us but they do not translate into a better quality of life. Government offices, schools, colleges, hospitals and public places do not provide disabled-friendly access. Almost each state doles out a paltry sum in the name of monthly pensions.
 
Do the ministers and officials holding high posts even know anything about disability and the struggle we and our family members and care givers go through to survive in our country? 
 
Rehabilitation of the disabled is as good as non-existent. 
 
I remember in 1997, two years after my paragliding accident and permanent, incurable spinal cord injury, I developed a pressure sore in my right ankle. I could not put on my socks or callipers and was home bound for four months as healing of a spinal cord injury is a slow process and the wound has to be exposed to air. Feeling intensely patriotic, I readily agreed  when my friend Satish Kulkarni, assisted by his nephew, offered to carry me down the first floor flight of stairs so that I could visit the polling station in a school nearby. Imagine, with no sensation in my feet, a huge risk in itself, braving the stones, pebbles, dust and the hot footpath, I was carried down and driven in his car and walked barefoot to cast my vote. I felt very proud that I went that extra mile, risking my health to go for voting. 
 
Since then, each year, ramp or no ramp, I have, with great hope always exercised my franchise, thanks to my supportive family. 
 
As an Indian with a physical disability I have been carried up and down the stairs in the past 23 years in a shamefully undignified manner almost everywhere. Because I wanted to move on with my life, experiencing as full a life as possible!
 
Sadly, for all my patriotism, the taxes that I pay regularly as an honest citizen and the pride of being an Indian, I have not seen much visible change over the years.
 
For any little change that there has been for the disabled in and around me, it has been solely due to my own explanation, brainpower, time, resources and effort. . 
 
People call us inspiring and motivational, unaware that we and our families have to work twice as hard to exist and survive. Despite the optimistic outlook, disillusionment has set in. Actually no one cares about us.
 
The people in the government entrusted to make our lives easier by providing us with the basic minimum infrastructure, technology and positive attitudes, seem to be busy with other pressing matters. Forever. Always.
 
Enough is enough. We have been taken for a ride for too long. We are now exhausted in this long journey. 
 
When one can make elections accessible by harnessing resources in such a short period pan India then show us a real positive change NOW. 
 
I would propose that each constituency make their government buildings, schools, colleges, hospitals, public transport, washrooms and sports facilities disabled friendly before the elections. Prove to us that each of the political parties truly acknowledges and cares for our existence.
 
Each party’s manifesto must mention 10 measurable points with finite timelines by a specific task force that they will execute in finite days, months. 
 
Each party and the individual standing for elections must mention a mobile number, email id and website where grievances by Indians with disability can be sent before the elections so that we can check the veracity of your trust. All pending petitions, appeals concerning the disabled must be cleared before these elections. 
 
You want our vote.
We want our dignity. 
 
(Dr Ketna L Mehta is Founder Trustee of Nina Foundation that serves in the rehabilitation of economically and socially disadvantaged friends with spinal cord injuries. She is also Editor of ‘One World’.  Email- [email protected], www.ninafoundation.org)
 
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COMMENTS

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

3 months ago

Thank you, Dr. Ketana ji, for your incessant efforts to help spinal cord injury disabled persons.

I request you to keep in touch with all the hospitals, Government and Private, who treat patients for spinal cord injured patients, to get them rehabilitation from you.

Mahesh S Bhatt

3 months ago

Virali Modi brave Indian girl wanted Indian Railways platforms to be disabled friendly in right spirits but Bibek Roy has opened up new corruptions doors like BMC Roads after 200 years potholed and created broken tiles on Dadar / Bandra/Thane stations for more commuters to be having twisted foot/broken anklesWe need bridges when 22 die in Parel 2 bridges come up in 6 months Thanks to Army & corrupt IR Managers who create and upload foot bridge tender hours before the tradegy IT corrected by morraly shameless reality No convictions Rs 5lac compensation Mahesh Bhatt

Sunil shenava

3 months ago

At least someone cares...

Madhu K R V

3 months ago

Thank you Dr Ketna L Mehta , yes we need above state things and change in politician and people and the Civil engineers attitude towards future constructions and modification to the existing one.

Fires Due to Short Circuits Are Not an Act of God
Last week saw more fires in Mumbai and elsewhere. The catch word, in all cases, was 'Short Circuit'. But short circuits are not an ACT OF GOD. They are man-made, involving carelessness, negligence, monetary shortcuts and blatant flouting of the rules, sheer recklessness. The truth is that there is no need for a single short circuit to occur; and when there is one, investigators must examine whether a charge of probable homicide, without actual intent, can be charged on the person responsible. Even if there is 'misfeasance' or ‘non-feasance’. Is there a dilution of a duty of care?
 
Technically speaking, an electrical short-circuit occurs when two live electrical wires come in contact with each other. The immediate effect is to blow a fuse and save the building as well as lives. Yet, this is more often not the case.
 
A FUSE IS MEANT TO BLOW
 
A fuse is not for show. 
 
Here we need to know a little bit about the ‘FUSE’. A fuse is short-form for ‘fusible wire’. This wire is very thin and is, usually, a mixture (alloy) of two or more metals. It is designed to burn up (fuse) when heated. So, when an electrical system fails, either due to overloading or faulty equipment, the fuse itself ‘blows’.
 
Electricity cuts off and lives are saved. In actual practice, however, fuses are either by-passed or over-sized, thereby not doing the job they were meant to.
 
An analogy is a water pipe. If the pressure is too high, the pipe bursts. Similarly, if the load on the electrical system is too heavy, the fuse melts, thus avoiding a fire.
 
But, if the fuse is replaced by either a thicker wire, or is made redundant by bypassing, the electrical pressure will attack the system elsewhere; the cable coverings will melt and fire will engulf the building.
 
LOAD AND OVERLOAD
 
The most frequent cause of fires is over-loading. A Mid-Eastern parable will illustrate our point. An Arab merchant would transport hay on his camel’s back. The more hay he carried every trip, the more money he made. So he would load the camel to the limit. One day, he saw a blade of grass on the ground. He did not wish to waste it; so he picked it up. And he put it on the camel. And the camel’s back broke. That one extra sliver of hay did do it in. Hence the saying, ‘The last straw on the camel’s back’.
 
All electric systems are designed to take care of a certain number of equipments.
 
Say one refrigerator, a TV, 12 lights of 40 watts each, a microwave of 750 watts, an iron, fans, air-conditioners, a stove and OTG, etc. The meter has a limited capacity based on the actual calculated load and the electricity distributor charges accordingly. As time passes, more equipment is added. Geysers, additional air-conditioners, bigger ovens, cold storage facilities, all that prosperity can buy. It all adds up and, if the fuse blows, someone, instead of studying the real problem, blames the fuse as sub-standard. It gets replaced with a larger size. Then one day, the camel’s back breaks. The ensuing havoc kills people.
 
People who care, take the necessary precautions. They get a qualified electrical engineer to check the load-bearing capacity. He certifies it or asks for additional cabling and a larger meter, circuit-breakers, safety tripping switches. Yet, this is seldom the case. This critical dependence is placed on the local electrician; actually a fitter at best. It isn’t money saved, it’s an invitation to death. But even as you and I take care, it isn’t enough. Here’s why.
 
What about our neighbour? And the other neighbours? In every building or office, in every shop or establishment, 99% of the occupants pay no heed. One is surrounded by lethal installations occupied by uncaring people contracting to incompetent contractors. They put everyone’s life at risk, including that of the person passing by. 
 
MONEY SAVED, LIVES LOST
 
Cheap equipment is used. Thin-gauge internal electric cables are installed. Fuses are replaced by thick wires. Concealed wiring is carried out without due ventilation. Earthing is inadequate. Cables are laid below the floor tiles or above flammable false ceilings. Connections are made without connectors. Plugs and sockets used get heated even when within specified limits. Heavy cables are put up in haphazard ways, usually hanging like clothes lines. Workers never seem to use plugs; bare wires are inserted in sockets with matchsticks to wedge them in. A slight spark, with inflammables, like paint vapours or gas close by, can easily cause an explosion. 
I may take care. After reading this, you too may take care. But what about your neighbour? And mine? Is he going to give a tuppence? 
 
UBI JUS IBI REMEDIUM
 
We sincerely believe in the dictum that where there is a malady, there has to be a remedy. Some days ago, while walking along Gowalia Tank, one saw fire engines parked below a building. On querying, the reason given was, Yes, a 'Short Circuit'. It involved an office in the building. With the fire brigade station just a hundred metres away, no casualties happened. But it cannot be touch-and-go every time. 
Short circuits do not just happen. They are caused.
 
This brings us to the headline. The law does not wait for a crime to be committed before effecting arrest. Even the intention of criminal activity is enough for the police to swing into action. Is not a 'Short Circuit' prone house, shop or office, or factory, or theatre, any less culpable and dangerous? Shouldn’t possible perpetrators be prosecuted? And, in case of disasters, shouldn’t those responsible be severely punished? Is the causing of death, multiple deaths, just to save a few rupees, not a 'murderous' activity? And, if the laws are in place, isn’t implementation needed? And fast.
 
Now, the question that remains: Who will bell that cat?
 
(The authors are both advocates with the Bombay High Court.)
 
 
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COMMENTS

Bapoo Malcolm

4 months ago

We are trying to arrange a seminar. have already got in touch with the BEST.

Meenal Mamdani

4 months ago

Very apt. The question is how does one get the people to pay heed. The householder always thinks his house is fine and it is the others who need to have their house fixed.

I had suggested the following as a comment to a previous article on the same subject.

BEST should distribute information about this problem to all its customers along with the monthly electric bill.

Then it should use a carrot and stick approach to get the consumers to have the wiring in their house inspected by a licensed electrician and on submission of that certificate to BEST, she/he should be rewarded with a one time reduction in their monthly bill.

The stick should be a monthly fine for those who fail to submit such a certificate in a reasonable period of time.

Yes, Indians with their well known ingenuity will find ways to get around this and the illegal connections will of course not use this remedy. But at least the law abiding citizens, who are at risk of a short circuit because of ignorance, will heed the warning and will be saved.

Rather than look for a perfect remedy it would be sensible to start with a good enough one and tweak it as more information becomes available.

REPLY

S A Narayan

In Reply to Meenal Mamdani 4 months ago

```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
good suggestion

shadi katyal

4 months ago

A nation with little or no technical knowledge who claims that during Vedic age they had all these technologies have so much laziness that it is easy to blame on God. God gave us a brain to learn but we are brainwashed with everything religious.
The very fact that with no know-how and lack of any replacement of old wires and overloading the system, when such incident happens we look at God.
We are unable to understand what causes such shortcircuits and damage such fires cost,we instead of earning the reason we blame God.
Why a simple knowledge cannot be furnished to everyone when meters are installed or some information on the bill?

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