Noida’s new building safety structure audit policy comes into effect
Under the new guidelines, if a developer applies for an occupancy certificate before allowing apartment owners to move in, they must obtain a safety certificate from experts appointed by the Noida authority
The Noida authority has begun implementing ‘building safety guidelines’ for group housing buildings to ensure residents’ safety from April 1. Under the new guidelines, if a developer applies for an occupancy certificate before allowing apartment owners to move in, they must obtain a safety certificate from experts appointed by the Noida authority.
On November 30, 2022, the authority’s 207th board approved these new guidelines and decided to put them into effect on April 1, 2023.
“We will only approve an occupancy certificate (OC) for a new building if the developer follows the established guidelines. The developer must hire an expert to conduct safety audits on the building’s structure and then issue a certificate. Without that certificate, we will not issue OC to buildings to ensure the safety of apartment owners,” said Ishtiyaq Ahmed, the Noida authority’s chief architect and town planner.
The authority will begin accepting new OC applications from developers on Monday under the new guidelines.
“The structure audit certificate is now required, unlike in the past when the authority would accept applications without this certificate,” Ahmed added.
The authority has appointed Delhi Technical University, IIT Kanpur, MNIT Allahabad, BITS Pilani, AMU Aligarh, MNIT Jaipur, and CBRI Roorkee as expert agencies to issue safety certificates for the housing tower structures.
According to the policy, the developer is responsible for this audit for the first five years, and then the responsibility shifts to the apartment owners’ associations.
Meanwhile, OC applications submitted before March 31, 2023, will be completed per the old rules, said officials familiar with the matter.
“The current policy provides only a few structural audit institutions as an option. However, we request that all IITs be empanelled due to the massive workload. Furthermore, the building whose plans have already been approved should be given final approval by the same agency that performed the structural audit in the first place. Furthermore, if an objection is raised in the future and a structural defect is discovered, it is obvious that the developer will correct the problem and bear the cost. However, if there is no defect or minor defect, the developer should not be held liable for the audit fees. Instead, the cost should be borne by the resident welfare association or the complainant. A structural engineer or a representative from the developer should also be included on this audit committee,” said Manoj Gaur, President of Credai (Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India) NCR (National Capital Region).