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SC notice to Centre on unsafe buildings
Friday, 18 February , 2005, 14:51

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today issued notices to Centre and a host
of techincal expert bodies on the grave threat posed by sky-scrapers
without a sound structural design to resist earthquakes.

A Bench comprising Justice Y K Sabharwal and Justice P P Naolekar, after
a detailed inquiry into the antecedents of NGO Society for Safe
Structure, issued the notices to Union Uraban Development and HRD
Ministries as well as DDA and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

Appearing for petitioner, Anil Aggrawal requested the Court to direct
the respondents to "stop ongoing construction of structurally unsafe
buildings and to ensure construction of economical and structurally safe
and earthquake resistant buildings" to prevent large-scale loss of lives
in the case of earthquake as was noticed during the quake in Gujarat in
2001.

On the issue of making mandatory the recommendations of National
Building Code of India in the construction of a high-rise buildings, the
petitioner said the civic bodies should be directed to amend their
by-laws to ensure construction of earthquake resistant structures.

On the suggestion of incorporating a techno-legal regime on safe
structures, the Bench has also issued notices to Council of
Architecture, Institute of Engineers, Consulting Engineers Association
of India, Association for Consulting Civil Engineers (India) and Indian
Association of Structure Engineers.