Civic body to issue notices to owners to alter dilapidated structures

Owners of dilapidated, earthquake-prone buildings in the city will have to take steps to repair such structures.

Following a meeting with Anna University on Thursday, the civic body has decided to issue notices to buildings vulnerable to earthquakes after implementing a digital mapping project shortly.

The notice under the provisions of the CCMC Act would eventually ensure the safety of those living in or near such buildings. Structures likely to endanger public health or safety will have to be altered.

A number of Corporation buildings including those in BRN Garden tenements in Broadway are dilapidated. However, the civic body has been unable to take precautionary measures during the monsoon to ensure the safety of residents living in such buildings.

An earlier survey undertaken by Anna University aerially mapped medium-to-tall buildings in the city. The city has more than 11 lakh properties including multi-storied, special and ordinary buildings.

On Thursday, the civic body accepted data collected by Anna University for web application to assess seismic vulnerability of buildings in 192 sq. km. of the Corporation in the first phase. The web application will also help residents identify safest building during disasters.

The application will be based on digital mapping undertaken in parts the city and another survey that has classified a chunk of the buildings as highly vulnerable during earthquakes.

Digital map data for the remaining areas in Chennai will be ready soon. Mapping of utilities, a tool to identify gaps in civic amenities, will also cover all the 15 zones.

A study by Anna University also analysed soil types in the city limits and found clay and unconsolidated sediments were likely to amplify earthquake energy effects in Purasawalkam, Vepery, Egmore, Vyasarpadi, Siruvallur, Otteri, Kolathur, Villivakkam, Anna Nagar, Ayanavaram, Koyambedu, Arumbakkam, Kodambakkam, Taramani, parts of Velachery and parts of T. Nagar.

Chennai was re-designated from Hazard II zone to Hazard III zone (greater vulnerability) in 2001.

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