Illegal buildings in Delhi-NCR earthquake prone: Experts

  • Vinod Rajput, Hindustan Times, Noida
  • Updated: Jan 08, 2016 18:27 IST
The Noida disaster management cell trained 300 volunteers in December 2015 to help the public deal with disasters. (HT File Photo)

The Noida disaster management cell on Thursday said all illegal buildings in Delhi-NCR, including those in Noida, are at risk of crumbling in case of a high-magnitude earthquake in the region.

Disaster management experts with the ministry of home affairs (MHA) have issued a warning that an earthquake measuring 8.2 on the Richter scale may hit parts of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

“Around 30% of the buildings in Delhi-NCR, which are not quake-resistant and have been built illegally, will probably crack if an earthquake measuring 8 or above on the Richter scale strikes. After reports on the possibility of a high-magnitude earthquake, we have expedited our resource building campaign to deal with the issue,” said Kumar Raka, head of disaster management wing, Gautam Budh Nagar.

However, the Noida disaster cell is yet to receive any official communication from the UP government regarding the MHA experts’ warning.

“As far as I know, we cannot predict earthquakes. Since the warning has come from MHA experts, we cannot ignore it. Therefore, we have expedited the process of conducting safety audit of buildings in Noida and Greater Noida to ensure safety of the residents,” Raka said.

In December 2015, the Noida disaster cell trained 300 volunteers to help the public in case of a disaster.

“We aim to train 800 more volunteers in the entire district. As per the plan, we can train 50 volunteers in a week. At this speed, we can train 800 people in a month by involving adequate experts from the field,” said Raka.

“It takes three days to train a volunteer. Intensifying campaigns to construct earthquake-resistant buildings is the best we can do to deal with such disasters,” Raka said.

He said that all authorities, locals and active citizens should come forward to support the campaign in order to deal with earthquakes.

“Old buildings need to be audited immediately and subsequent measures for retrofitting taken. Owners of such buildings should participate in the audit for their safety,” Raka said.

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