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Bihar: Officials told to identify non-earthquake-resistant govt buildings for retrofitting work

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NewsDrum Desk
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Patna, Feb 4 (PTI) The Bihar Building Construction department has asked officials to identify old non-earthquake-resistant government buildings across the state for retrofitting on a priority basis.

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The department asked executive engineers across the state to submit the report at the earliest.

"There is an urgent need to make all old government infrastructure earthquake-resistant through retrofitting in the state. Such buildings need to be identified on a priority basis. All executive engineers must conduct a survey to identify such buildings in their respective areas of jurisdiction so that retrofitting work can be started at the earliest", said a circular issued by the Bihar Building Construction department to executive engineers.

A copy of the circular is with PTI.

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"The department is all set to start work on retrofitting of old offices and vulnerable buildings in the state to prevent damage in case of earthquakes. Other measures such as identifying open spaces for rescue operations, earmarking hospitals in districts and sub-divisions for emergency response, widening lanes and bylanes, establishing connectivity with railway and telephone networks for communication in case of an emergency, will also be part of the survey", said a senior official of the department, who did not wish to be quoted.

Bihar needs to be fully prepared to tackle any disaster and preparations to this effect should be put in place, the official said.

According to the state Disaster Management Plan (Bihar), "From the epicentre of an earthquake point of view, Bihar has one high voltage epicentre right in the middle of its forehead at the Nepal border which also happens to be a fault line. From a magnitude point of view, 15.2 per cent of the total area of Bihar is in Zone V which denotes the most severely threatened area from an earthquake point of view, 63.7 per cent of the total area of Bihar is in Zone IV and 21.1 per cent in Zone III.

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"But, as there are six sub-surface fault lines between Zone V and Zone IV areas where the possible cracking of the tectonic plate on those lines may happen, the total of 78.9 per cent area of Bihar may be taken as threatened by a severe earthquake causing worse impact".

The Building construction department is responsible for construction, renovation, up-gradation and maintenance of residential and non-residential government buildings of different departments.

The department and the Bihar State Building Construction Corporation Limited (BSBCCL) are currently involved in the completion of 2,366 projects, worth Rs 8190 crore, of different departments of the state government. PTI PKD RG

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