MCD engineers to check Delhi's seismic risk

MCD engineers to check Delhi's seismic risk

City yet to identify total number of weak buildings

While Delhi lies in the high risk seismic zone IV, the city is yet to identify the total number of dangerous buildings that would collapse and lead to loss of life and property with occurrence of an earthquake.

 However, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) have begun an exercise in this regard.

About 300 engineers from various civic agencies, including MCD, DDA and NDMC, in the national capital will be trained by the NIDM to identify the unsafe buildings and then strengthen them by retrofitting and rebuilding.

The four-day training programme began on Tuesday with 50 engineers from MCD attending the training programme “Seismic Safety Assessment of Buildings in Delhi by Rapid Visual Screening”.

“A curriculum has been designed by NDMA with the help of IIT experts to train MCD engineers. The 300 engineers will be trained on Rapid Visual Screening method which will help them to assess the number of unsafe buildings in the city and take steps to strengthen them, so that the damage can be minimised in case of an earthquake,” said NDMA vice chairman M Shashidhar Reddy.

The main attraction of the present training program will be to display those findings in the customised RVS software and making hands on exercise for trainees, along with exercise in the field.

“A team from IIT-Kanpur will be conducting 3D laser scanning of some buildings at the two selected sites in Delhi and another from Bangalore will demonstrate fire safety assessments for the buildings.

“A team of field engineers from Ambuja Cements and other reputed companies will be demonstrating Non-destructive Strength Tests on selected buildings,” said Reddy explaining about the Rapid Visual Screening training programme and adding that these are some of the tools that the engineers must be familiar with, before declaring a building structurally safe or dangerous.

Earlier, inaugurating the training programme, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna expressed a deep concern about the mushrooming of unsafe buildings in Delhi.

“Diagnosis of the ailment is not enough. Medication and treatment are needed. We know Delhi has unsafe buildings and they do not need earthquakes to collapse as seen in past. NDMA has taken a great initiative and we hope that soon Delhi will have engineers who can study the structure safety of the buildings and suggest the remedies,” said Khanna.

According to information, Khanna would soon take up the matter with Delhi Development Authority of creating a retrofitting wing of engineers that will exclusively work to identify the unsafe buildings and rectify the structural defects in them.

“Once the retrofitting wing is created, it will also have its own men and budget,” said a senior government official involved in the task.

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