Why are SC or­ders on earth­quake­safe build­ings not be­ing fol­lowed?

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France has com­mit­ted to pro­vide over 2 bil­lion eu­ros f or s mar t ci t y projects in In­dia with a fo­cus on Chandi­garh, Nag­pur and Puducherry. There will also be an in­vest­ment of an­other 200 mil­lion eu­ros for the ex­ten­sion of Ban­ga­lore metro, says François Richier, am­bas­sador of France in In­dia, at a sem­i­nar on To­wards Smart and Sus­tain­able Ci­ties or­gan­ised by FICCI, Em­bassy of France in In­dia and min­istry of ur­ban de­vel­op­ment (MoUD).

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi had vis­ited France in April and France had com­mit­ted 600 mil­lion eu­ros for smart ci­ties and projects re­lated to sus­tain­abil­ity, in­clud­ing re­new­able en­ergy and en­ergy ef­fi­ciency. Be­sides de­vel­op­ing smart ci­ties, France was also keen to de­velop her­itage sites and tourism for th­ese ci­ties, he says.

On t he oc­ca­sion, Durga Shanker Mishra, ad­di­tional sec­re­tary, min­istry of ur­ban de­vel­op­ment, read out a mes­sage from M Venka­iah Naidu, min­is­ter of ur­ban de­vel­op­ment, hous­ing and ur­ban poverty al­le­vi­a­tion and par­lia­men­tary af­fairs.

Naidu said that In­dia and France have had a long-term eco­nomic and strate­gic part­ner­ship and the cre­ation of smart ci­ties was a great chal­lenge which could be­come a huge op­por­tu­nity for in­vest­ment for France. With France, al­ready pledg­ing financial sup­port in de­vel­op­ing three ci­ties in the coun­try, the In­dian gov­ern­ment was look­ing to­wards more such partnerships with France. He added that pro­vid­ing clean drink­ing wa­ter, sew­er­age, build­ing ur­ban trans­port and in­fras­truc­ture in the smart ci­ties were some of the ar­eas that had am­ple scope for partnerships.

Mishra said that France was ac­tively part­ner­ing with In­dia in its ini­tia­tives to de­velop 100 smart ci­ties and AM­RUT. The gov­ern­ment was mov­ing ahead on both the projects by en­gag­ing with the state gov­ern­ments and lo­cal bod­ies as their in­volve­ment would give an im­pe­tus to the projects.

He said that the ur­ban pop­u­la­tion of In­dia was grow­ing at a rapid pace and by 2050 it was ex­pected that 50% of the coun­try’s pop­u­la­tion would be re­sid­ing in ur­ban ar­eas. Hence, now was the time to de­velop smart ci­ties to pro­vide for the fu­ture.

Jy­ot­sna Suri, pres­i­dent, FICCI, said that un­der the smart ci­ties mis­sion, the gov­ern­ment em­pha­sised on the im­por­tance of ci­ties with ur­ban lo­cal bod­ies tak­ing the lead. This bot­tom-up ap­proach is an ex­tremely pro­gres­sive step which will help in proper plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment of the ci­ties. The In­dian pri­vate sec­tor also has had a sig­nif­i­cant role to play in de­vel­op­ment of smart ci­ties and the industry seeks the gov­ern­ment’s sup­port to en­cour­age the pri­vate sec­tor to con­trib­ute to­wards this ini­tia­tive.

Last week’s earth­quake, wh i c h h a d i t s e p i - cen­ter i n t he Hindu Kush re­gion of Afghanistan, rat­tled al­most all of north In­dia, and de­spite a num­ber of builders claim­ing that most struc­tures in the Cap­i­tal are s afe, t he alar ming f act i s that 100% of the build­ings in Delhi NCR, are all Cat­e­gory-D earth­quake re­sis­tant or i n many cases even lower than Cat­e­gory-D, as de­fined by the Na­tional Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Author­ity or NDMA.

Ac­cord­ing to San­deep Shah, coun­try head and MD – In­dia, Miyamoto In­ter na­tional, a struc­tural en­gi­neer­ing firm, “There are cred­i­ble re­ports of NDMA that a quake of mag­ni­tude 8 or higher can hit north In­dia any­time and eight to nine lakh lives will be lost. Even then the Gov­ern­ment has failed to act. It has not even up­dated its two most im­por­tant earth­quake build­ing codes for 13 and 22 years.”

The Supreme Court has asked the gov­ern­ment to do the fol­low­ing, but till date its or­ders have not been com­plied with. 1NDMA

un­der­take a pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign on a na­tional ba­sis through print and elec­tronic me­dia to ed­u­cate the pub­lic about the four cat­e­gories of earth­quake re­sis­tant build­ings and the de­tailed def­i­ni­tion of each 2The

pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign be un­der­taken im­me­di­ately and con­tin­u­ously so as to sen­si­tise the pub­lic, thereby sav­ing lives in the even­tu­al­ity of the earth­quake 3All

pub­lic build­ings, in­clud­ing com­mer­cial and of­fice build­ings, hous­ing more than 100 per­sons, both new and old, should have an en­graved me­tal plate of size not less than one feet by two feet, men­tion­ing that the build­ing is ‘ earth­quake re­sis­tant – col­lapse preven­tion’ or any other cat­e­gory or ‘earth­quake re­sis­tant – un­known’. 4All

mul­ti­story build­ings, more than five storeys high, both new and old, should have an en­graved me­tal plate of size not less than one feet by two feet, men­tion­ing that the build­ing is earth­quake re­sis­tant – op­er­a­tional or earth­quake re­sis­tant – im­me­di­ate oc­cu­pancy or earth­quake re­sis­tant – life safety or earth­quake re­sis­tant – col­lapse preven­tion or earth­quake re­sis­tant – un­known. 5The

ad­ver­tise­ments of all realty projects whether i n print, elec­tronic, so­cial me­dia or hoard­ings/ ban­ners/ pam­phlets/ brochures or email mar­ket­ing or any other form of mar­ket­ing etc. should ex­plic­itly, promi­nently and ad­e­quately state what is the earth­quake re­sis­tant cat­e­gory of the build­ing. That the state­ments about the earth­quake re­sis­tant cat­e­gory should be in large and bold fonts com­pa­ra­ble to the font and size of the project and de­vel­oper name. Snapdeal has launched a Di­wali home­buy­ing fest from Novem­ber 3 to Novem­ber 9. Cus­tomers can avail of­fers on pur­chase of prop­erty from over 200 real es­tate projects across Delhi NCR, Mum­bai, Navi Mum­bai, Thane, Ban­ga­lore, Kolkata, Chennai, Hy­der­abad and Pune. Th­ese projects are from de­vel­op­ers like Go­drej Prop­er­ties, Brigade Group, Mahin­dra lifes­paces, IREO, Artha, Ramky Es­tates, Cen­tral park, Sunteck Realty, Rus­tom­jee, Lavasa Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd, Nirmal life­style, Aj­nara, Ma­h­a­gun and oth­ers.

The Di­wali fest also marks the launch of Snapdeal’s new real es­tate plat­form that con­nects buy­ers with de­vel­op­ers as well as prop­erty con­sul­tants and chan­nel part­ners. Plat­form fea­tures in­clude map-based search, project seg­re­ga­tion on the ba­sis of lo­ca­tion and con­ve­nient in­ven­tory book­ing. It also en­ables users to com­pare projects based on search cri­te­ria, and use tools like heat maps to iden­tify suit­able projects.

To fa­cil­i­tate a seam­less buy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, Snapdeal has tied up with In­ter­na­tional Prop­erty Con­sul­tants and chan­nel part­ners such as CBRE South Asia Pvt Ltd, Knight Frank, In­di­a­b­ulls Dis­tri­bu­tions Ser­vices ltd, Fin­lace Con­sult­ing, Craft Ad­vi­sors, and a few oth­ers for com­pre­hen­sive off­line sup­port in com­plet­ing the trans­ac­tions.

Jy­ot­sna Suri, pres­i­dent, FICCI, François Richier, am­bas­sador of France in In­dia and MoUD of­fi­cials at a sem­i­nar on smart ci­ties

A build­ing in Pak­istan dam­aged by the re­cent earth­quake in Afghanistan which rocked north In­dia too

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