30 Years On, Govt Looks To Amend Capital’s Building Bylaws – The Indian Express – 27-Nov-2014

November 29, 2014 - Uncategorized

With the issue of Unified Building Bylaws (UBBL) in focus once again after the change in government at the Centre, the first advisory stakeholders’ committee meeting was held in the capital Wednesday. Representatives of various government bodies and individuals participated in the discussions to finalise a draft of the new by-laws. The laws are being amended 30 years after they were first implemented.

Accountability on safety, building envelopes and more freedom to architects were some of the suggestions made by the stakeholders. Others suggested that the responsibility and accountability in case of a calamity be fixed. “There were concerns that in the event of an earthquake, a large percentage of buildings are prone to damage. In such circumstances, who should take the blame? Should it be the Delhi government, which finally approves the construction in areas, or should it be the builder or the architect?” a source said.

While advisory stakeholders’ meetings have been held over the past one-and-a-half years, this is the first one since the Modi government took charge and fast-tracked the matter.

“We had sought suggestions from the public and government agencies on the UBBL till November 17. However, even after that date, suggestions have been pouring in. This meeting had 25 stakeholders representing various government agencies and individuals. Once we finalise the suggestions, a draft will be prepared and submitted to the Ministry of Urban Development for approval,” P S N Rao, Chairman of Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC), said.

The DUAC and Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had invited suggestions from the public on the issue of amendments to the UBBL and had received 600 suggestions from professionals, public and government agencies.

The idea to amend the existing 1983 building by-laws came up in 2012 when it was decided that the laws should be put in the public domain and made more user-friendly and understandable to the public. While the issue was deliberated upon, the idea remained untouched until the advent of the Modi government.

Representatives from the DDA, municipal corporations, New Delhi Municipal Council, National Monuments Authority, Airports Authority of India and the Delhi Fire Services participated in the meeting.

Sources said the DUAC was holding core group meetings with representatives from the DDA and municipal corporations on a weekly basis to finalise the suggestions.  Over 200 suggestions have been scrutinised. Once the suggestions are finalised, a draft will be prepared and submitted to the UD Ministry for approval.

“There have been discussions several times, but nothing has been achieved. The new laws will be sensitive to the urban landscape. Within a family, if there is a marriage, and there are additions to the family, there has to be space. What each individual does with his house is his wish as long as he does not violate the safety rules and compromise the structure of the building,” a stakeholder said.

 

The Indian Express

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