The Indian Association of Structural Engineers (IASE) has lambasted the Delhi government and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) for their decision to register properties without structural safety certificates.
Barely three weeks after it issued an order banning registration of properties without a structural safety certificate, the Delhi government on Monday revoked the decision in view of shortage of structural engineers with the civic body.
The association had taken up the issue for the first time in 2007 when the process of regularisation of unauthorised colonies in the city had begun.
They wrote to the union urban development ministry and Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit. The association also wrote to the MCD soon after the Lalita Park building collapse incident in east Delhi and later met a senior MCD official.
Mahendra Raj, the association president, said, "It is necessary to set up a system to evaluate structural safety. We suggested forming of a high-powered panel comprising MCD and DDA engineers along with our members. But we got no response."
There are about 180-200 structural engineers who are IASE members. The MCD claims it had issued an advertisement following which it empanelled 39 engineers/structural engineers.
HO Gupta, member of the IASE governing council, said "They (the MCD) are charging R20,000 annually from the panelist. Above that, they want to blame us if a building certified by us comes down. No sensible structural engineer will be willing to join this panel."
And it is not just structural engineers that are critical of the government's move.
Vijay Saluja, former chief engineer of NDMC and ex-president of IIT Delhi alumni association, said, "Were the authorities not aware of shortage of authorised structural engineers? Why was the March 30 order issued in the first place?"
Agreed Deep Mathur, MCD's director (press and information), the civic officials had a meeting with IASE on the issue and said, "They were explained MCD's position."
"Any engineer, who fulfils the requisite qualifications, is welcome to be empanelled with us,” Mathur added.