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Third party verification to be made by AU or Gayatri Engineering College/ GITAM University
Decision was taken at a meeting held by Tribal Welfare Minister P. Balaraju
VISAKHAPATNAM: Stung by the collapse of two retaining walls of apartments in quick succession, the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation has decided to tighten the norms for issue of occupancy certificate for buildings. “For all buildings of ‘G+3' or more floors, besides the structural engineer's certificate a third party verification will be introduced from henceforth,” Municipal Commissioner V.N. Vishnu told The Hindu on Thursday.
The third party verification will be taken up by Andhra University or Gayatri Engineering College/ GITAM University.
The occupancy certificate is now being given after a licensed structural engineer's approval of the fitness of the building.
The third party verification will be made applicable to buildings on which construction has been going on, or those awaiting issue of occupancy certificate also. The cost will be around Rs.10,000 for each building.
The decision was taken at a meeting held by Tribal Welfare Minister P. Balaraju with District Collector J. Syamala Rao, the Commissioner and Mayor Pulusu Janardhana Rao on Wednesday.
The GVMC Town Planning Department is only capable of going into deviations and violations but not structural aspects. Structural engineer is the qualified person to take care of it, Mr. Vishnu said. Experts are of the view that irrespective of the type of soil, the foundation was most crucial as it would determine the strength of the building. If a building designed to last 50 years faced problems in three years, it must have had some structural lacunae, Mr. Vishnu said adding multi-storeyed buildings on reclaimed land in Mumbai were safe.
Notices would be served on structural engineers when things went wrong and if it was proved that there was deficiency on their part they would be blacklisted, Mr. Vishnu said.
On the plight of residents of Vaibhav Hills Apartments, he said as per Section 456 of the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act, the onus of restoring the building to safety lay with the builder.
Estimates would be prepared as per the report of an expert committee appointed to go into the collapse.
The owner would have to do it under the technical guidance of the corporation. He has to bear the cost or it will be recovered from him. The same holds good for the buildings next to it that are facing similar problems.
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