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COA lacks data on architects’ professional conduct: RTI query

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RTI query on whether responsibility is fixed on architects apart from builders and other officials has revealed that no year-wise record is maintained of defaulting architects

vakola-building-collapseMumbai: With increasing cases of building collapses and illegal structures, an RTI query on whether responsibility is fixed on architects apart from builders and other officials has revealed that no year-wise record is maintained of defaulting architects.

Also, the Council of Architecture (COA) does not have record of names and dates of complaints, as per a reply to a query filed by Mumbai-based RTI activist Anil Galgali.

In response to a query on the list of number of architects accused of professional misconduct, Public Information Officer R K Oberoi informed that, “No such year wise list of defaulting architects is maintained by the Council.”

“The complaints for violation of the provisions of the Act are dealt with as per procedure given under Section 39 of the Architects Act. The Council has not maintained any list/record containing the names and dates of complaints, i.e. in the form sought by you,” Oberoi said.

However, he said that currently two complaints for alleged professional misconduct against architects have been received and these are being dealt with as per Council of Architecture Rules, 1973.

Recently, a police complaint was registered against an architect and a Thane Municipal official by a consumer, after the latter was allotted a smaller area of residential property than what was actually shown in the agreement. This brought the role of the architect concerned under scrutiny.

“Architects can ensure fairness in their projects if they abide by the rules and regulations set. But unfortunately today a lot of architects not only advice the builder to violate law, but also point out the loopholes in the system to maximize profits” Galgali alleged.

No action can be taken against defaulting architects, if the Council does not maintain a detailed list, he said.

“There are so many illegal structures sprouting in our city. Campa Cola building is one such example. The builder is usually held responsible for illegal structures without action being taken against the architect. It is the residents who have to ultimately suffer. If the council itself has no list, how will architects be made accountable for the sufferings of the common man,” he said.

The RTI query also revealed that 62,369 persons across India are registered with the COA as architects, as on January 31, 2014.

PTI

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