300 engineers to be trained to spot unsafe buildings

April 24th, 2012 - 5:42 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) About 300 engineers of various civic agencies in the national capital will be trained by the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) on spotting unsafe buildings and strengthening them by retrofitting and rebuilding.

The first batch of engineers - each batch comprising 50 - will start their training Tuesday, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Vice Chairman M. Shashidhar Reddy told IANS.

The training duration for the engineers, mainly taken from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), will be of four days, he said.

Apart from the MCD, engineers from the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the Public Works Department (PWD) and the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) will attend the training programme that is being conducted by the NIDM in collaboration with the NDMA.

“A curriculum is designed by NDMA with the help of IIT experts to train MCD engineers. The 300 engineers will be given training on Rapid Visual Screening (RVS) method, which will help them to assess the number of unsafe buildings in the city and take steps to strengthen them, so that the damage can be minimised in case of an earthquake,” Reddy said.

RVS is a method which can easily identify and rank residential buildings that are potentially seismically hazardous. The RVS procedure will consider different building types, based on the building materials and construction types.

“Several buildings in Delhi are unsafe and prone to serious damage in case of earthquake, particularly in east Delhi. The engineers who are involved in the task should make sure of this training and identify the buildings which should be retrofitted. Buildings where retrofitting is not possible should be rebuilt,” Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna said.

Emphasising the need for quake-resistant buildings, Reddy said that in the devastating earthquake in Gujarat’s Bhuj in 2001, maximum damage to property was caused to unsafe buildings.

Reddy said the country needed a ‘retrofitting policy’ and the NDMA would soon be coming out with one.

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