MCD sat on proposal on engineers panel to detect unsafe houses
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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.


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

Tag: MCDBuildingsRTI
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