The Estate Office plans to ask owners of old buildings in Sector 17 to get the structural stability of their buildings tested and submit a fitness certificate. In case the buildings are found unfit, the owners will be asked to take measures to strengthen these.
The move follows the collapse of the building housing the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology after a fire earlier this month. The age of the buildings which will be given notice is yet to fixed. The matter has been referred for legal opinion.
Assistant Estate Officer Rahul Gupta said, “After the collapse of the building in Sector 17, it is felt that there is a need to ensure safety of the remaining buildings. The issue has been deliberated upon. We are considering asking owners to get the structural stability of their buildings checked. They will be provided a list of institutes from which they can get the structure tested.’’
Most of the buildings in Sector 17, the commercial hub of the city, were built around five decades back. Over the years, there has been weathering of the concrete and the pillars are exposed. A study conducted recently by the National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training and Research showed that a large numbers of buildings in Sector 17 as well as the corridors are structurally unsafe.
An official stated that most of the buildings in Sector 17 were not being maintained properly. Due to this, a number of structures had become uninhabitable. Many of these buildings are private.
There are several institutes that conduct checks for structural stability. These include the PEC University of Technology, Central Building Research Institute at Roorkee and the IITs.
Sector 17 also has several government buildings. Once a decision is taken on the age of the buildings that have to be tested, the administration will also get these buildings tested.
When the buildings were constructed, mostly in the sixties, there were no techniques in place to ensure that these were earthquake-resistant. Chandigarh falls in seismic zone IV and there is now a greater awareness of the issue.