New Building Bye-Laws Proposed By Delhi Development Authority
Architects, structural engineers, construction companies, contractors and site engineers building three-storey flats or bigger shopping complexes may be responsible for any structural flaws or defects that occur within 10 years of the building being constructed. Tightening Delhi’s development control rules, the ministry of housing and urban affairs has proposed an amendment in Unified Building Bye-Laws for Delhi 2016, which would now hold responsible all contractors and even site supervisors of defects in a building constructed on plot size of 750 square metres and upwards.
In simpler terms, it brings under the ambit of Unified Building Bye-Laws plots in swanky residential colonies like Greater Kailash Part I, Green Park, Vasant Vihar, Satya Niketan and Defence Colony. These posh colonies have seen increased building activity by private builders who build multiple flats on one residential plot with an average size of 750 to 1,000 square metre and sell them floor-wise. Even shopping complexes or malls in areas – like Vasant Kunj or Saket – being built would come under this.
The amendment would mean that every architect would now have to take decennial professional liability insurance to cover for such liability. This is in line with international practices where architects take professional indemnity insurance to safeguard themselves against any future litigation involving structural defects accusations.
The Unified Building Bye-Laws 2016, which were notified in March 2016, had put this “latent defects liability” clause only for plots with 20,000 square metre and above. This bigger plot size limit had rendered the clause completely useless as it put 80-90% of Delhi out of the ambit of latent defect liability on the architect or engineer.
In practical terms, a 20,000 square metre plot would house a 35-40 storey high rise building with three flats on each floor. This had been introduced when India attempted to improve on its Ease of Doing Business rankings. World Bank had accorded importance to the provision of latent defect liability.
Now, the Centre has moved the amendment reducing the plot size.
The proposed amendment reads:
The following shall be held liable for any structural flaws or defects in all risk category of buildings having plot area 750 square metre and above after it is in use:
2) structural engineer
3) Site supervisor/ site engineer
4) construction company including contractor/ sub-contractor
The amendment has been put in public domain for a month to invite suggestions and comments. After the mandatory notice period of a month, it would be notified.
Source Link- https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/.