To avoid building collapses like the one in east Delhi’s Lalita Park that killed 71 people, an audit conducted by the Indian Army has suggested that civic bodies should make separate plans for every area depending on soil conditions.
The suggestions came in response to the Delhi Disaster Management Authority’s (DDMA) request to review the mega mock drill conducted this week along with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
The Indian Army had constituted nine different teams for nine districts in the city, each with 40 persons for the audit."Every part of the city has different soil conditions. For instance, areas near the Yamuna have soil with high sand content, whereas this might not be the case for other areas. The depth of the foundation has to be calculated depending on the soil structure of that area," said Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna on the report that was submitted to the government on Friday.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) have been asked to make a standard plan for all the areas in the city under their jurisdiction.
The audit says that most buildings are not structurally safe and many require retrofitting to make them earthquake resistant.
To ensure most people were able to benefit from this scheme, the Lt Governor said the cost of retrofitting would depend on the income of the house owner.
The audit points out that there is a need for an office of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in Delhi. Currently, their office is in Ghaziabad. “We have asked the Delhi Development Authority to allot space. They have been shown spaces in east and west Delhi,” said Khanna.
The audit has suggested formation of state disaster response force on the lines of NDRF and recommended that every district should have an immediate response team to act during any disaster or emergency. “The response team will have 900 members, 100 for each district,” he said.
“If you enter a building in Japan, you will come across volunteers who will brief you about the dos and don’ts in case of an emergency. Similar things need to be done in Delhi,” added Khanna.