The structural audit policy of the Noida Authority will finally come into effect from April 1, making it mandatory for developers to seek occupancy certificates for new or delayed projects after getting their buildings structurally vetted by an institute empanelled by the Noida Authority and creating a framework for homebuyers to seek quick redress on their complaints about structural defects in existing buildings.
Senior manager (planning) Devendra Nigam said, “Starting April 1, the structural audit report obtained from one of the empanelled agencies would be compulsory with the online application for partial or full OC. If the towers and society are safe from all angles, the developer will get the OC.”
For existing buildings, officials said that if at least 25% of occupants of a building support an audit, they can immediately approach the Authority. A committee led by an additional CEO-level officer would then look into their complaint and decide whether the defect is minor or major. For a major defect, the developer or the AOA, depending on the time elapsed since the OC issuance, will be responsible for engaging an agency for a structural audit and fixing the defect.
“After getting the OC, the builder will be responsible for structural audits for the next five years and rectifying the deficiencies found in the structural audits during this period. After five years, it will be the responsibility of the AOA,” said Nigam.
The Noida Authority has empanelled seven reputed institutes—IIT Kanpur, Aligarh Muslim University, BITS Pilani, Delhi Technical University, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology in Allahabad, Malaviya National Institute of Technology in Jaipur, and Central Building Research Institute in Roorkee—for the structural audits. The developer or AOA has to choose an auditor from among them, said officials, adding that the developer or AOA and the institute engaged would mutually determine the audit fee.
Explaining the process, Nigam said, “If 25% or more buyers complain about a defect, the committee would examine the complaint. If the committee decides the complaint pertains to minor defects, the Authority will issue a notice to the developer or AOA, whosoever is in charge, to redress the complaint in three months. If the committee decides the complaint pertains to major defects, a structural audit becomes necessary, which should happen in a month. Then the developer or AOA will redress the complaint.”
He added that if the developer fails to ensure the completion of the audit within the prescribed period, the Authority will get the audit done through a consultant and add the amount to its liability. In the case of the AOA, the Authority will recover the amount from the management board through a recovery certificate.
“If the structural audit report reveals that a building needs several repairs and retrofitting, the developer or AOA will have to start work at the site in a month and complete the same in six months. The committee can extend this period on a case-to-face basis,” said Nigam. “If the AOA or developer does not start the work, the Authority will act as per the provisions of the Industrial Area Development Act.”
Manoj Gaur, president of CREDAI (NCR) and CMD of Gaurs Group, welcomed the appointment of reputed technical institutes for the structural audit of buildings. “All the CREDAI registered developers are already getting structural audits from institutes. But, this move will bring clarity and transparency to the process and increase buyers’ confidence,”