MCD sat on proposal on engineers panel to detect unsafe houses

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 19:12

New Delhi: After a house collapse killed six
people in east Delhi in July, MCD had announced that it will
form a panel of structural engineers for inspecting buildings
but sat on the proposal for months, shows an RTI reply.

The information, procured through the RTI Act, assumes
significance in the wake of the collapse of a multi-storeyed
building in Laxmi Nagar area of east Delhi on Monday night
that has claimed at least 67 lives so far.

After the July 14 incident in Brahmapuri in which six
members of a family were killed when their three-storeyed
residence collapsed, Municipal Commissioner K S Mehra had
announced setting up of a panel of structural engineers to do
proper inspection of buildings, RTI applicant Darshita
Aggarwal said.

Citing this announcement, which appeared in the media,
Aggarwal, who is secretary of Asaf Ali Road Property Owners`
Association, wanted to know from the office of the
Commissioner whether such a panel has been constituted and
where should the owners of such buildings should apply to
avail the services of an empanelled structural engineer.

The reply received from the public information officer on
October 6 stated that "as on date no panel of technical
experts/agencies for detection/survey/repair of dangerous
buildings has been constituted by the MCD."

Asked about the issue, Leader of Opposition in MCD Jai
Kishan Sharma said the civic body "took no action" taking
lesson from the Brahmapuri incident. "They did not set up any
panel of structural engineers as promised. We will raise this
issue in MCD meetings," he said.

On July 14, Mehra had said though the MCD carries out
surveys every year to detect dangerous buildings, there are
some shortcomings.

"An expert panel of structural engineers will be set up
to identify structurally unsafe buildings," he had said
adding, after the detection of such buildings, the MCD will
"do the needful", which may include "repairing, retrofitting
or reinforcing" the structures.

After Monday`s mishap, the civic body is now carrying out
a survey of unsafe buildings in Laxmi Nagar area and has asked
the occupants of as many as 38 "dangerous" buildings there to
evacuate immediately.

Mehra yesterday said that as per the direction of the Lt
Governor, MCD would be conducting a survey in collaboration
with Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee to
find out if retrofitting is required in certain buildings to
make them structurally safe.

However, if any building is found dangerous and cannot be
made safe, it may require demolition, he said adding, the
survey would be completed within a period of three months.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 19:12

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