Seismic formula to decide land prices! | india | Hindustan Times
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Seismic formula to decide land prices!

REAL ESTATE dealers would soon have a new ?seismic formula? to fix up land prices, in the country. This would not be based on the location but soil quality and its susceptibility to earthquakes.

india Updated: Oct 12, 2006 01:42 IST

REAL ESTATE dealers would soon have a new ‘seismic formula’ to fix up land prices, in the country. This would not be based on the location but soil quality and its susceptibility to earthquakes.

Experts of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) have already completed the first level of Seismic Microzonation (SM) of 12 major cities of the country and work in 18 other cities is in the pipeline.

GSI officials would submit the comprehensive report of SM to the union ministry later this month. The study had begun in 2000.

SM is based upon the criteria of the soil. The top rated being rocky soil, followed by loose soil. Sand soil or flood plains come as the last option for GSI experts, with a maximum risk of building collapse in case of an earthquake.

“Intensity of an earthquake is derived from the damage it causes but there are soil kinds that do make the difference in the intensity. The weakest among soil kinds is sand with shallow water table in the basement of any given building,” said Dr JR Kayal, deputy director general (geophysics) at GSI’s central geophysics division at Kolkata.

He was here for the two-day GSI in-house interactive meet on SM that began on Wednesday morning. The programme was organised with an objective to review the work carried out so far in GSI, refine quality of future endeavours, evolve a common code of practice and gauge the requirements of user agencies.

Geoscientists from different parts of the country presented studies conducted on SM in various cities including New Delhi, Jabalpur, Siliguri, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and discussed threadbare the related aspects to extend the study in other cities also. “Cities even far away from the earthquake epicentre are highly vulnerable to seismic forces and the point can be best exemplified by none other than the Bhuj earthquake. Thus town planners can effectively use the microzoning maps,” said Prabhas Pandey, director earthquake geology division of GSI (Lucknow).

He said high amplification sectors could be left out as open space for parks and green belts rather than doing construction there.