Gurugram's department of town and country planning has invited applications from consultants or firms for a structural safety audit of multi-storey buildings in the millennium city, where shoddy construction has been a cause of concern.
The move comes a few months after two people were killed when roofs of multiple apartments collapsed in posh Chintels Paradiso in the city’s Sector 109, while residents of NBCC Green View in Sector 39D had to move out after a safety audit declared their homes unsafe.
Residents of 70 condominiums have complained of structural deficiencies and demanded a safety audit of the buildings.
"We are finalising a list of 60 to 70 societies. We have started the process of empanelment for these societies. Once the process is complete, we will do a visual inspection of the societies at first by these firms to check whether the issues are structural or infrastructural,” District Town Planner Enforcement (DTPE) RS Batth told Moneycontrol on June 26.
A second stage audit would be conducted if structural problems are found. A third stage audit would follow “if the issues are found to be very critical”, Batth said.
Following the Chintels collapse, the state government asked officials to inspect and audit buildings residents had lodged complaints about.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had unveiled a draft of the structural safety guidelines in April under which empanelment of firms has to be done.
"Empanelment has to be finalised for the future projects as per the draft guidelines. It may take a little more time, Batth said.
The draft guidelines said that till the norms were finalised, the deputy commissioner can do the empanelment of firms for immediate issues or complaints raised by the residents. “We are doing this empanelment from that point of view," he said.
The DTPE said that firms can send in application till July 12 and the process of empanelment would be completed within 15 days.
According to the letter of invitation, the consultant firm should have a minimum 10 years experience in structural design safety analysis along with an average turnover of at least Rs 2 crore in three years (2017-2020).
A committee of additional deputy commissioner of Gurugram, superintending engineer of PWD and DTP Enforcement would finalise the list of firms.
"The maximum part of the cost will be recovered from the concerned developer only. However, the developer won't be paying the audit firm directly. They will deposit in the district administration's account and the administration will pay the audit firm," Batth said.
Chintels Paradiso resident welfare association president Rakesh Hooda welcomed the move.
"It will help the department have all required specialities in place in advance for safety audits. If a team will be in place, then structural audits can be done immediately. At present, the government has no such facilities. It's a positive move and we welcome it," said Hooda.
Prabhat Bhardwaj, associate convenor of Making Model Gurugram, a platform to unite all RWAs, said the decision was long awaited.
"There are many serious complaints involving high-risk structural issues which need to be identified through structural audits. Builders have been taking advantage of administrative system loopholes in their favour resulting several infrastructure deficiencies and violations. Despite all challenges, the process has begun and allottees see some hope now," said Bhardwaj.Moneycontrol reached out to several developers but they refused comment.