The Noida Authority has begun drawing up a policy to ensure periodical structural audits of buildings before and after their handover by government agencies or empanelled engineers. If approved, the onus will be on the developers and subsequently the apartment owners associations (AOAs) to ensure periodical audits and carry out repairs suggested in the reports.
While the proposal — coming against the backdrop of the vertical collapse at Chintels Paradiso — is still in a nascent stage, the Authority officials told that before a layout map was approved, the developers would be told to get structural audits of under-construction buildings done thrice, at various stages of construction, by empanelled agencies. If the builders fail to carry out the audits, no occupation certificate will be granted.
Usually, developers hire project management consultants for their ventures, but currently, there is no provision of physical inspection by any agency during the construction period. Under the proposed policy, developers would be required to engage the Authority’s empanelled agencies and get the buildings audited.
It will not only ensure the quality of construction but also rule out several irregularities like construction of extra floors and use of poor quality of materials among others. Once ready, the responsibility of carrying out repairs would lie with the builder for the next five years. Thereafter, the AOAs are likely to be engaged for the periodical structural audits and the cost incurred on any repair work.
Noida-based structural engineer Nikhil Saxena said, “A building generally has a life span of 50 years. Every five to seven years, a building should be evaluated for the latest norms, earthquakes and seasonal conditions.” On Wednesday, a delegation of Noida Citizens Forum (NCF) met the Authority officials, seeking structural audits every five years. “The safety of the people living in high-rise apartments has been a matter of concern for a long time, but no concrete action has been taken so far,” NCF secretary Ankit Arora said.