All new buildings across the country will have to adhere to earthquake resistant building by-laws and conformity will be made mandatory with immediate effect in cities like Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, the earthquake management guidelines prescribed by National Disaster Management Authority said.
Apart from buildings of national importance like Rashtapati Bhavan and Parliament House, critical infrastructure and lifeline facilities like schools and hospitals will have to be retrofitted on top priority to withstand quakes. Residential apartments, offices and commercial complexes with more than five floors will also have to be made quake-resistant.
It has set June 30 as the deadline for compliance with fresh earthquake-resistant building codes, modified techno-legal regime and revised town planning which will make it mandatory for all individuals and private builders falling in zone in, IV, and V— in which all the four metros lie —to incorporate quake-resistant features.
Zone V is seismically most vulnerable and covers the northeast as well as Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Zone IV passes through Delhi, Uttarakhand and J&K. Cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Lucknow fall in Zone III, which is comparatively less quake-prone.
Pointing out that 59% of the area in the country falls in quake-prone zones, NDMA chief N C Vij said, “The guidelines rest on six pillars: earthquake-resistant construction of new structures, selective seismic strengthening & retrofitting of existing priority and lifeline structures, regulation and enforcement, awareness and preparedness, capacity development through updating of educational curriculum, training and R&D; and emergency response.”
Concerned with the lack of expert manpower for construction of earthquake-resistant structures and retrofitting of existing structures, the guidelines recommend updating of the existing curriculum at engineering and architecture colleges and ITIs to incorporate studies on earthquake design and construction technology NDMA guidelines also suggest licensing and certification of professionals—engineers, architects, masons/artisans in the construction industry by the state governments, facilitated by ministry of earth sciences and professional bodies.
Source: The Times of India
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