NOIDA: Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate N P Singh on Monday asked Noida and Greater Noida authorities to inspect buildings for safety parameters and earthquake resistance, and to initiate action against developers found violating norms.
Singh, who also heads the district disaster management committee, said cases have come to their notice where builders have changed approved layout plans on the sly for extra profits. "In many cases, it has come to our notice that developers extend highrises they build beyond the layout plan sanctioned by the development authorities. For instance, in some cases, builders cover the building's rescue area to make more money. Such illegal practices put the lives of citizens in danger," Singh said.
The district magistrate said a survey, carried out by the fire department a month ago, had identified 65 over-15-storeys-high buildings in Noida that do not follow any safety norms. None of these highrises were cleared by the fire department, and won't be able to withstand a severe earthquake.
The situation is far worse in Noida villages, said Singh, as villagers build or extend their homes without even bothering to get layout plans approved by authorities. "Every building in Noida's villages, having a height of 15 m and above, should come under the authority's ambit. Developers should get clearances from a structural engineer and fire department. Certificates of structural safety and from the fire department should be submitted with Noida authority," he added.
Singh said he has also written to the builder's body, confederation of real estate developers' associations of India (CREDAI), and also spoken to villagers, advising them to adopt safe construction practices. "To make the city safe, there is need to initiate action against violators, both in villages as well as the realtors' fraternity, who put lives of other people at risk for profits. We are not against developers or villagers, but tough action is needed," Singh said.
Developers have largely welcomed the decision, saying they are not worried as they have followed all safety norms. "Reputed developers generally follow standards and avoid wrong practices, but a mechanism should bring more awareness and transparency in the system," said Amit Gupta, MD of Orris Infrastructure.