The Civil Engineers discuss the Objection with state over the Bill
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Kumar Siddhartha, Pune

“It undermines the role of architects, town planners and urban designers,” says the Architects, who are opposing the Karnataka Professional Civil Engineers Bill, 2024, which was passed in both houses. The Bill only mandates the registered engineers to approve the designs.

In accordance with the Bill; government will set a council up, the Karnataka Council of Professional Civil Engineers (KCPCE) and civil engineers to practice have to register under it to get their practicing license. The diploma holders with experience of two years are also allowed to register under this panel. Government has agreed to discuss the matter further after the opposition was raised.  

A practicing architect, T.N. Subbaiah, said that the Architect’s Act of 1972 serves as central legislation regulating the profession of architecture in India. He also mentioned the fact that this Act provides provisions for the registration of architects, standards of education, recognized qualifications, and standards of practice to be complied to, by practicing architects. He also added that the, the KPCEA Bill is a State-level legislation that aims at regulating the practice of civil engineering in Karnataka. He also stated that the bill suggests the establishment of Karnataka Professional Civil Engineers Council (KPCEC), which would be empowered to grant the licenses, specify qualifications, and enforce standards for civil engineers. He noted that if the KPCEA bill is enacted it might overrule the provisions outlined for architects by the Architects Act of 1972.

He said that, the Bill might create some conflict of authority between the Central and State authorities, as both the Council of Architecture and the KPCEC would claim to regulate the domain of conceptual plans of buildings. The Bill could also undermine the autonomy as well as the authority of the Council of Architecture, as the KPCEC would have the authority not to permit construction unless the design or drawing of the building has been certified by a professional civil engineer.”

“Architects specifically study designing for five years, diploma holders do not have that qualification. How can engineers approve designs made by architects? The Bill is also violative of article 246 of the constitution,” said the chairman of Indian Institute of Architects, Mohan B.R., to The Hindu. He also added that H.K. Patil, Minister of Law, Parliamentary Affairs and legislation, has promised to discuss with the architects about the objections they raised.