Safety plan in limbo | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Safety plan in limbo

Recent spate of earthquakes that had its repercussions in the Capital has once again raised the issue of building safety in the city where more than 1,600 colonies are still unauthorised.

delhi Updated: Sep 19, 2011 23:56 IST
Hamari Jamatia

Recent spate of earthquakes that had its repercussions in the Capital has once again raised the issue of building safety in the city where more than 1,600 colonies are still unauthorised.

However, new buildings in the city are being declared structurally sound with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) making it mandatory to have a structural safety certificate in order to get completion certificates and get buildings authorised.

"The structural safety certificate ensures that the foundation of a house is sound and that it can bear the pressure of the house and also resist earthquake shocks," said a senior official of MCD.

While earlier, architects and owners used to give joint declaration, in May this year, the MCD set up a panel of structural engineers to issue the certificate. It took a Lalita Park collapse and death for 70 people for the new development but the new mandate has been implemented to avoid similar collapses.

While an official figure of number of houses which have applied for structural safety is not available, MCD spokesperson Deep Mathur said that the demand is high and so MCD is recruiting more structural engineers for their panel. It's the panel that gives the certificates to home owners after inspection.

However, work of recruitment is still slow with 53 structural engineers being empanelled in a panel that is to have 200 such engineers.

"We started with 39 engineers. Few days ago the number was 45 and now the number has risen to 53. The panel is open to new recruitment. People can apply and whoever is found eligible will be recruited," Mathur added.

The decision also follows a March 30 Delhi government order, making structural safety certificates mandatory for registering the sale and purchase of properties in Delhi. There was a subsequent sharp decline in registration of properties, with the MCD also declaring its inability in issuing such documents, citing non-availability of structural engineers.

After physical inspection of a building, the engineers as per the provisions of building by-laws laid down by the MCD gives the certificate.

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which has built more than three lakh dwelling units in the Capital in the last 40 odd years, said that these structures are earthquake resistant.

"All the structures are built according to the building by-laws and every norm is adhered to," said a DDA spokesperson.