Expressing alarm over a report that a Nepal-like quake could wipe out 90 per cent of the population here, Delhi High today rapped the Centre, the city government and municipal bodies saying they were waiting for disasters to happen as only 10-15 per cent buildings in the capital complied with the building bye-laws.
“An alarming situation was revealed through an affidavit that 25 per cent of the buildings in the MCD areas fall under planned/approved area and 75 per cent area is unplanned and unauthorised…
“Out of this 25 per cent, people later carry out more construction which is not permissible under law. It means only 10 to 15 per cent comply with the building bye-laws,” a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva said.
It further said “this is an alarming situation and the concerned authorities (Centre, Delhi government and municipal bodies) are waiting for disasters to happen”.
It observed that “since 75 per cent of structures have come up without following the regulations, if an earthquake like the one in Nepal occurs here, the casualties would not be in thousands but 90 per cent of Delhi’s population will be wiped out.”
The court made the observation after it was told by a civic body that about 75 per cent of the buildings in Delhi have come up without complying with regulations, including those relating to structural stability.
It also observed that nine out of the ten houses will collapse if a major earthquake hit the national capital.
Noticing that during the hearing no one appeared on behalf of the Delhi government and the Centre too was mum over the steps taken to make city safe from natural hazards like earthquakes, the court directed them to file status reports on the policy with regard to the structural integrity of buildings, keeping in mind that Delhi fell in Seismic Zone IV.
Seismic Zone IV is a high damage risk zone which can expect the second highest level of earthquakes.
It said before September 23, the concerned authorities in their status reports shall indicate the action taken by them in ensuring that the structural integrity of the buildings in Delhi are in compliance with the National Building Code 2005 prescribed for Seismic Zone IV.