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State govt. constitutes committee on earthquake pre-damage assessment
Daiho Mao KOHIMA, JUN 20 (NPN):
Published on 21 Jun. 2011 12:44 AM IST
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An expert committee on Earthquake Pre-Damage Assessment constituted by the state government will soon carry out assessment of all the buildings in and around the state capital so as to identify weak buildings.
The committee which was constituted by the state government under the Urban Development Department last month would also make recommendations for preventing colossal damage or loss of lives by taken suitable precautionary measures in the event of any natural calamity in the near future.
Unlike in other places, the Nagaland does not follow any building code or safety guidelines with many buildings constructed without proper design by architects and proper safety measures and supervision by engineers.
In an exclusive interview to Nagaland Post, Urban Development minister, Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu said; “I am afraid, many buildings in Kohima may not be able to withstand a major earthquake hitting the state”. The minister disclosed that the committee was expected to assess more than 20,000 buildings in and around Kohima alone.
The committee headed by the director, Urban Development Er. Ken Keditsu and comprises of six to seven experts in the field who are drawn in from several other departments.
The committee had its first meeting on May 23 last to work out necessary guidelines and how to carry out the task. The committee is also empowered to co-opt members if necessary, Dr. Shurhozelie said.
Making assessment of a building requires all the necessary information and documents such as design, foundation, year of construction and others. However, he expressed doubts if most building owners possess these documents.
The committee could also require some hi-tech equipments and machinery to carry out tests which the state does not currently have. The committee has been asked to go ahead and to begin with, it will apply conventional methodology for assessment of all public buildings such as Schools and Hospitals.
After assessment, the committee will identify the buildings with weak structures and make necessary recommendations including corrective measures. If necessary, the department could also consider for any possible assistance, he said. The committee is a state level committee but initially, it will carry out the task in Kohima then gradually cover other parts of the state. Dr. Shürhozelie also said that the committee was purely state-funded and that it has been given the power to makes assessments on private buildings across the state. “For many, it may not be important, but it is very important in the preparation for disaster management”, he added.
While pointing out that there are some general guidelines which would be have to be notified, the minister admitted that so far no specific guidelines have been framed for carrying out the assessment. The guidelines are being worked out and may be modified at a later stage depending upon the applicability and requirement, Dr Shürhozelie said.

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