Delhi

Plasters peel off, cracks appear in beams of NBCC construction in Gurugram

NBCC ‘Green View’ group housing project in Gurugram Sector 37 D. Photo: Special arrangement  

Harish Pant, a retired senior Central government official, spent around ₹8 lakh on the interiors of his three-bedroom flat at ‘NBCC Green View’ group housing project in Sector 37 D here in January last year so he could shift to his “dream home” with his family. But it has been more than a year since, and his dream to spend his retired life in his own home still eludes him.

The lockdown caused the delay and then when he visited the flat in August, he was left aghast to see its condition. “I was shocked to see large cracks on two walls of the living room. The moulding tiles in the adjoining bedroom had come off on its own. The cracks only widened during subsequent visits. I have got them repaired now, but still in a fix whether to shift or not,” said Mr. Pant, former Director, Federation of Indian Export Organisations. He claimed that he also wrote to the NBCC chief twice, but there was no response.

Though it has been a little over three years since the sprawling 18-acre housing project of National Buildings Construction Corporation (India) Limited, a blue-chip Government of India Navratna enterprise, was completed in 2017-end, it is hard to miss large patches of plasters peeling off the towers and walls exposing the rusted reinforcement and the cracks in beams, columns and slabs. It does not just make the buildings look dilapidated, the residents said that they were too scared to live in the “dangerous” structures.

Lintels near the lift areas and a couple of balconies too have been given support to prevent them from collapsing.

The basement area, big enough to accommodate around 1,000 cars, lies empty. Instead, it is inundated with foul-smelling water due to leakage and seepage. Groundwater oozes out in the substation area and is pumped out round-the-clock to prevent it from flooding.

Deepak Jain, Treasurer, Association of Apartment Owners (AOAO), explained that the ground-water table was high in this part of the city, but the water-proofing work for the society was not done. “If the water from the sub-station is not pumped out, it may get flooded in no time posing a big threat to the residents,” said Mr. Jain.

G. Mohanty, president, AOAO, said that cracks appeared in the walls, the floor, and the columns of his flat as well soon after the interior work. “When I wrote to the NBCC, they advised me to get it repaired. But the cracks appeared again and this is the story with almost all flats in this society,” said Mr. Mohanty. He added that the residents, all retired Central government employees, feel cheated by the government and wanted their money back.

Randhir Singh, general-secretary, AOAO, said that the residents wrote over a hundred letters to the company, the Ministry and other related agencies, but nothing concrete was done so far. After a virtual meeting with the Minister in August last, the NBCC hired IIT-Delhi team to “advise on the condition of the buildings”. “The scope of the Delhi-IIT team was limited to “virtual inspection”. It was an eye-wash. The letter says that ‘complete proof checking of the structural designs of the building’ is not part of its scope. The team was told to peruse the reports already available,” argued Mr. Mohanty.

CVC report

A Central Vigilance Commission report on the matter, two years ago, pointed out poor planning and structural design with regards to basement, no monitoring over quantity of cement during construction, not providing its team details of technical staffers deployed during construction and not complying with the specific conditions stipulated in the Environmental Clearance. It also observed that water-proofing work was not done and the residents provided them photographs showing heavy retrofitting of newly constructed towers carried out by the NBCC. The CVC said that it proved poor quality of work.

When contacted, the NBCC argued that the residents were staying in the housing society for the last four years without any major issue and “in last 4 years, Delhi-NCR has witnessed more than 30 earthquakes and building is safe without any distress”. It further said that IIT-Delhi team appointed for investigation into minor and moderate cracks was of the opinion that the structure meets the design strength and the spalling being observed was only corrosion induced due to chloride content.

“IIT Delhi has already suggested the measures to address the issue. NBCC as a responsible company sprung into action and have already started comprehensive repairs,” said NBCC (India). It said that the scope of IIT-Delhi covered everything that was required to be done for the same.

On the technical examination by CVC, the NBCC maintained that its report had not pointed out poor planning and structure design and environment clearance and other statutory approvals, including Occupation Certificate were obtained. “Further, due procedure is being followed for compliance of CVC report,” said NBCC (India).


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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 4:18:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/plasters-peel-off-cracks-appear-in-beams-of-nbcc-construction-in-gurugram/article34069350.ece

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