Noida: Safety audit of high-rise buildings to begin soon
More than a week after multiple ceilings of a building in Gurugram’s Chintels Paradiso society caved in killing two women, the Noida and the Greater Noida authorities have decided to carry out a safety audit of all buildings with assistance from experts, including engineers from the Indian Institute Technology (IIT), Delhi
More than a week after multiple ceilings of a building in Gurugram’s Chintels Paradiso society caved in killing two women, the Noida and the Greater Noida authorities have decided to carry out a safety audit of all buildings with assistance from experts, including engineers from the Indian Institute Technology (IIT), Delhi.
The move comes after apartment owners in both cities voiced concerns about their own safety.
According to the authorities, there are at least 700 high-rise housing towers in Noida and 500 in neighbouring Greater Noida.
Ritu Maheshwari, chief executive officer (CEO), Noida authority, has formed a committee headed by architect and town planner Ishtiyaq Ahmed, to take measures in this regard. “The committee will formulate guidelines for a safety audit of the buildings,” she said.
Narendra Bhooshan, CEO, Greater Noida authority, has also formed a committee headed by additional CEO Amandeep Duli, who will submit a detailed report in the next 15 days.
“We have formed a committee to look into the issue of structure safety. Our objective is to make building structures stronger through stringent laws. We will also make sure that the safety structure certificate is uploaded on our website and buyers or investors can have a look at it,” said Bhooshan.
According to the Uttar Pradesh Apartment Act, 2010, if more than 60% of the flats in a newly built housing project are occupied, following the acquisition of an occupancy certificate from the authority, a developer hands over the maintenance of the building to the apartment owners’ association. If the occupancy is less than 60%, the developer has to take care of the maintenance.
In Noida, there are at least 40 projects wherein the developers are responsible for maintenance work, while in Greater Noida, there are at least 20 such projects .
Atul Gupta, president of Architects’ Association (Noida zone), said that some developers are playing with the safety of people in an attempt to make more profit.
“The UP Apartment Act allowed developers to build high-rises on housing plots with an aim to provide affordable housing facilities to the middle-class. The government provided them with easy loans and also offered loans at a lesser rate of interest. But the developers compromised with the quality of materials and worked unprofessionally to make more profit, thus playing with the safety of people. Such developers must be contained with immediate effect to avoid a Gurugram-like incident,” said Gupta.
The Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association (NEFOWA) senior vice-president, Manish Kumar, demanded an immediate safety audit, and said, “The decision of the authorities on safety audit of high-rises is a welcome step, but it should be conducted seriously to make sure that safety parameters are not compromised.”
The Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India’s (CREDAI) west UP secretary, Subodh Kumar, said the body welcomed the decision to audit buildings, but contended that buildings in the twin cities were safer. “In Noida and Greater Noida, vetting of structures is done at two stages — one during the construction and the other after the building is complete. As a result, the buildings here are comparatively safe,” he said.