The impact of the 7.5-magnitude earthquake that originated in Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush mountains was felt even in Noida and caused panic among those living and working in tall buildings.
Residents of Sectors 62, 120, 44, 61, 53, 34, 122, 74, 77, 78, 79, 93, 93B and 18 where there are a large number of buildings with more than six storeys, were a worried lot.
“The elevator in our 11-storey office building was of no use on Monday because of the rush following the tremors. Since we were on the seventh floor, taking the stairs was not possible because people were rushing down like mad. So a group of colleagues managed to go upstairs and lie on the floor until the tremors stopped. It was so scary that I made frantic calls to my help to know about my two daughters,” said Puja Soni, who works with an MNC in Sector 62.
There are around 1,200 buildings, which more than four storeys tall and are prone to earthquakes because Noida falls in seismic zone 4.
Noida will be home to 1,250 highrises, over 60 metres in height, in the next 2-3 years.
“The impact of an earthquake will be felt more here as Noida has been developed on a floodplain. Developers need to be extra careful while developing buildings here,” said Pradip Kharbanda, urban town planner.
“I am more worried about rampant construction of tall unauthorised residential towers in Noida’s 82 urban villages. I have seen 11 or 12-storey residential towers built in Atta village, next to Sector 18. These buildings are a hazard to people living in the vicinity. Buildings coming up in Noida villages do not follow safety norms,” said Anurag Khandelwal, an architect.
“It is a disaster waiting to happen,” he said.
After the recent earthquake in Nepal, the Noida authority had decided to educate villagers on the need to make buildings earthquake resistant.
However, the move has made no impact as unsafe buildings continue to be come up on village land, without the necessary approvals.
“I have reviewed village buildings and directed owners to take steps so that aid can be rushed in case of any untoward incidents like fire or earthquake,” said NP Singh, district magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar.
Monday tremors send residents into panic mode
104 highrises are above 32 metres in height
1,250 highrises, over 60 metres in height, will come up in Noida within 3 years
Noida falls in the high-risk seismic zone 4, which makes it highly vulnerable to earthquakes
Buildings here need earthquake proofing
As the height restriction on construction of highrise buildings has been deregulated in the NCR, including Noida, a number of developers have planned skyscrapers, up to a height of 300 metres in this industrial town
Supertech’s tallest residential building in north India, the North Eye in Sector 74, has been completed till the 50th floor and stand at a height of 255 metres
The Noida authority has planned a commercial tower-cum-multilevel car parking in Sector 38A with a proposed height of 70 metres
The Noida authority has proposed to build an 80-metre tall iconic highrise in Sector 96 to house the authority’s offices
Gautam Budh Nagar has identified 500 volunteers in Noida and 300 in Greater Noida to help victims
Hi-tech equipment to be installed in tall buildings to warn about disasters, 30-40 seconds in advance
Mock drill carried out in association with the National Disaster Management Authority.