Top metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata fall under moderate to high risk seismic zones of the country, the National Disaster Management Authority has said.
“Earthquake is a major issue of concern. Over 58.6 per cent of land in India is highly vulnerable to earthquakes and 38 cities fall under moderate to high risk seismic zones,” NDMA Vice Chairman Shashidhar Reddy told PTI.
Delhi, Chennai, Pune, Greater Mumbai, Kochi, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Patna, Ahmedabad, Dehradun are some of the cities falling in the vulnerability zone.
Noting that a large number of buildings constructed in the past have not been made earthquake resistant, he said, “NDMA is ensuring that the new constructions that come up are disaster resistant and the old buildings are retrofitted.”
The NDMA is training a large number of architects, engineers and masons to make sure that any new construction that comes up is earthquake resistant.
“To have a topography study, a team of experts from six IITs led by IIT-Mumbai is working together to classify buildings in 10 different types, to make all buildings earthquake resistant,” he said.
A senior NDMA official said that 235 districts fall in the seismic zones IV and V.
“We need to take into consideration structural safety, mitigation and preparedness and immediate response. Lifeline buildings and telephone booths need to be retrofitted and critical installations in zone IV areas should not be allowed,” the official said.
He said in spite of Japan being highly equipped and fully prepared, when disaster struck, the country was devastated.
“It reminds us of our vulnerability. Disaster management is not a one-day job. We have already done mistakes in not closely monitoring our constructions in the past.”
Since making all buildings earthquake resistant is a state subject, NDMA has already written to almost all the states to ensure safe construction as per disaster management guidelines.
However, a senior official rued “No substantial response has been received so far.”
A typographical error was rectified in this article on April 13.