Changes needed in rules to assess: Officials

Changes needed in rules to assess: Officials

Five people were killed when two adjacent four-storey buildings slumped one after another in Cooke Town, Bengaluru, on July 10. DH FILE PHOTO

In the aftermath of the collapse of the four-storey building last week, BBMP officials said changes are needed in rules for better regulation of such constructions.

There are thousands of high-rises in the city. However, there is no clarity on how long they will be safe for occupation, thanks to lacunae in the law. As a result, no survey has been done to fix a deadline for occupation or mandatory repair or restoration.

BBMP officials said there were no guidelines to fix the life of a building, nor to demolish the weakened structures.

“Before giving permission for a high-rise, many assessments are made. There is no doubt that buildings constructed with good quality of the iron bar, cement and other materials will stand for 100 years. But there is no rule to deal with weak structures. Even the Karnataka Municipality Act lacks any guideline for the same,” a BBMP official said on condition of anonymity.

BBMP town planning wing director R Prasad said building construction was guided by Indian Standard Code, which should be followed by structural engineers during construction.

“The BBMP gives occupation certificate based on the certificate of given by the engineers,” he said.

However, he noted that a building should be maintained regularly for a longer life period. “There is no rule to certify the maintenance work,” he said.