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Earthquake : CREDAI Bengal Opines

Earthquake : CREDAI Bengal Opines The recent earthquakes in Nepal and the aftershocks have made people shaky aboutliving in high rises... What is CREDAI Bengal's view... Are there guidelines which members adhere to for building earthquake-resistant buildings... Opines Sushil Mohta, President, CREDAI Bengal

As the apex body of the real estate industry, we at CREDAI Bengal encourage the developer-members to take all necessary steps to make sure that the structural strength of the high-rises they are developing can withstand an earthquake. We ensure that project designs are vetted and approved by qualified structural engineers in addition to the architects to augment the safety norms that are mandatory.

In India, buildings are designed according to the National Building Code (NBC) and the Universal Building Code 97 (UBC 97) which most of the overseas structural engineers follow, which are based on assessments done on the ground movement force.

While designing a structure, Kolkata is considered to fall under Seismic Zone III as per NBC. Herein I am listing below the various zones for your reference:

Zone I - Not active (No place in INDIA)

Zone II - Least active almost 70% of INDIAN territory

Zone III - Moderately active (Kolkata, parts of Bihar, UP, Jharkhand, MP, Gujarat)

Zone IV - High (sub-Himalayan areas, Delhi, parts of Gujarat, Sunderban delta etc)

Zone V - Highest (North East India, Uttarakhand, Srinagar,parts of Gujarat)

So far as the guide line for construction of earthquake resistant building is concerned, it is already in place through NBC and almost every developer is following it. Structural Engineers ensure to incorporate measures to check adherence of the same. Our members are also governed by a compliance which makes the structural consultants appointed by the developer, to mandatorily visit the high-rise project site regularly and monitor and supervise the construction process that is executed by qualified engineers. The developers are also guided by stern approval mechanisms which also provide a check to any sub-standard safety mechanism, if being followed.

We at CREDAI Bengal are planning to organize workshops and brain storming sessions involving structural engineers, builders, architects, professors from engineering colleges. Here we will conduct a brain-storming session considering the current scenario due to the earthquake in Nepal and seek a way forward. Post-earthquake, most of the builders who are members of CREDAI Bengal have already undertaken surveys in their buildings and so far no serious damage has been reported.