East Delhi suffers from problems related to unauthorised construction, nonavailability of civic amenities in the unauthorised-regularised colonies, ownership of resettlement colonies and structural safety of buildings. A majority of buildings in East Delhi are “cancerous” and no structural modification can ensure their safety.
Chandan Ghosh, an expert on geo-hazard risk management, who conducted a study on the structural safety of 10,000 buildings in east Delhi after the Lalita Park building collapse tragedy, had recommended that most of the structures in east Delhi be pulled down and replaced with new buildings as there was no way to make the existing buildings safe.
“Delhi is part of a high-risk seismic zone. The city had experienced a deadly earthquake in 1720 but the extent of damage had been minimised because of a smaller population. Another earthquake of magnitude 6 on the Richter scale had hit Delhi in 1960 but again the damage was restricted as the illegal urban sprawl was not as extensive as it is today,” says Ghosh.