Engineers are taking bribes to endorse blueprints that don't meet code criteria: Minister Pandey
KATHMANDU, Jan 21: Following complaints about poor implementation of the building code, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) has asked the chief executive officers of all 22 municipalities in Kathmandu Valley to strictly enforce the National Building Code.
Local Development Minister Hitraj Pandey on Thursday called the municipality executive officers and engineers to the ministry and expressed serious concern over the municipalities' indifference toward implementing the building code. He directed them to leave no stone unturned in enforcing the code effectively as code implemention is the only way to ensure that earthquake-resilient buildings are constructed.
“I don't want to hear any excuses regarding ineffective implementation of the code and I hereby direct you all to strictly follow the code no matter what,” the official quoted Pandey as saying..
The official informed that the minister had also accused the engineers at the municipalities of taking bribes for endorsing building blueprints that didn't meet the code criteria.
“So, I ask all the municipality chiefs to personally cross-verify whether the housing blueprints approved by their engineers meet the code criteria or not. I also direct the chiefs to take strong legal action if any of their engineers is found endorsing faulty designs.”
Minister Pandey also asked the chief executives to deploy technical manpower to the building sites to check whether the buildings are being constructed as per the building codes.
He urged the use of new technology to register the blueprints so as to speed up service delivery.
“We have received many complaints stating that the municipalities were not implementing the building code in the Valley despite the fact that the Valley is an earthquake-prone area. So, the ministry has asked for the reasons behind poor implementation of the code,” Kedar Bahadur Adhikari, secretary at the ministry, told Republica.
As of now, the engineering departments of the municipalities have been handling the monitoring at construction sites. “The complaints state that allowing engineers at construction sites had been helping to weaken the implementation of the building code,” Adhikari added.