No earthquake-resistant buildings, no disaster management plan: Kashmir sits on seismological powder keg
Srinagar: Lack of disaster preparedness and violation of building codes have created a dangerous situation in Kashmir given its proximity to the high seismic Himalayan region.
For the last 12 years, Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed 164 earthquakes. The latest being the 3.6 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, which sent people into a tizzy.
“At an individual level, no one is ready to make an earthquake-resistant building. At the community level, our NGOs and religious leaders hardly talk about these issues. The government too has not prioritized these issues despite the fact that we have a National Disaster Management and State Disaster Management Act in place,” said Prof Shakil Ahmad Romshoo, an earth sciences expert and Dean Research at Kashmir University said.
“Apart from awareness, the realization is also needed. The building plan should be issued by the municipal corporation only when earthquake resistance parameters are met. Disaster management should be a part of the curriculum,” Romshoosaid.
“Till now, all norms other than earthquake resistance laws have been overlooked. We are in communication with the Housing and Urban Development Department to introduce a concept of site engineers on call for every building coming up in cities and towns” he said.