Government must reform structural safety norms

After the collapse of a building at Lalitha Park which resulted in tragic death of 59 persons, Delhi Government had come out with the mandatory requirement of producing a Structural Safety Certificate while registering any property deal. The Government felt considering large number of property deals are registered on a regular basis (one estimate is of 500-600), this way a large number of properties could be made safe.

However the MCD has had to withdraw the order, on the ground that it does not have sufficient number of engineers to issue structural safety certificates.

This turnout of events once again proves that the government often acts without proper planning. Government should have known that internally it does not have sufficient capacities to issue such large number of certificates and hence could have associated with concerned engineering associations, who would have taken steps to build the capacities of their members. These Associations would have been quite happy to be involved in such a programme, since it would have generated additional resources for its members and in turn would have made buildings in the capital complying with Structural Safety norms.

However the real issue, ‘Making Buildings Structurally Safe’ still remains. One wonders how the Government now plans to ensure the safety of these buildings, or perhaps Delhites will have to wait yet again for another tragic episode for the Government to initiate action.


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