New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): The Delhi Government on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that Latent Defect Liability clause (Clause 2.10) has been introduced in the Unified Building Bye-Laws (UBBL)-2016.
The high court was hearing a contempt plea filed against Chief Secretary of Delhi, Commissioners of three municipal corporations of Delhi, Chief of NDMC and Chairman DDA for allegedly non-compliance of Court's earlier order relates to seismic stability of buildings in Delhi.
The Delhi government told the court that several meetings were convened under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary and various measures for ensuring seismic safety in case of new buildings were discussed.
"Latent Defect Liability clause (Clause 2.10) has also been introduced in the Unified Building Bye-Laws (UBBL)-2016 which further lays full responsibility on the owner for carrying out the work in accordance with the building bye-laws. In case of any violations, the owner shall be liable for action under the extant law," the government informed the court.
The government in its affidavit further said, "As per Clause 2.1.3 of UBBL-20 which has been modified to ensure safety and compliance, the owner or applicant, at the time of submitting the application for the building permit, has to submit in Performa-1 of Common Application Form (CAF), a certificate of Structural Safety from a designated Structural Engineer that he has/shall follow Structural Safety requirements in accordance to National Building Code 2016 Part-IV."
"The Structural Engineer is required to certify that the structural design whether the same is based on the National Building Code, including safety from natural hazards, based on soil conditions, all will be
taken into consideration and would be duly incorporated in structural drawings of the buildings to be constructed," the UT government informed the court.
The government further said that in order to ensure the seismic safety in case of existing buildings the Clause 9.2.1 of UBBL-2016 in the Master Plan Provisions provides for Seismic Strengthening/Retrofitting of the buildings in regards to structural vulnerability in the wind/seismic hazards zone and stipulates the evaluation of the existing structure by a structural engineer for the same.
"In regards to the structural audit of old buildings and in order to ensure that the structures remain in good structural health, a compulsory structural audit of private buildings more than 30 years old by the
qualified Empanelled Structural Engineers and submission of structural fitness certificate from them by the owners/occupiers; on the lines of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) be made mandatory," the Delhi government said.
The government has further proposed that the exercise of a structural safety audit of high-risk buildings, belonging to both, government as well as private, to be completed in two years time and thereafter, the buildings falling in 'moderate and lower risk matrix' shall be taken up for which the time limit for those areas shall be of three years.
The high court listed the matter for April 13 for further hearing.
The petitioner Advocate Arpit Bhargava through this petition seeks direction to take coercive steps (in terms of the Contempt of Court Act) against respondents for their alleged lackadaisical approach in taking steps in a time-bound manner in order to save the people of Delhi from an impending Earthquake.
The petition alleged that respondents have no regard to the orders passed by this Court and to comply with the directions issued by this Court from time to time in the present matter.
Court had earlier expressed its unhappiness with the Delhi Government and Civic bodies over the lack of implementation of an action plan related to the seismic stability of Delhi buildings.
Petition sought directions to the respondents to act in a time-bound manner and apprise this court about the steps taken and intended to be taken in case a major earthquake strikes Delhi in the near future. (ANI)