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Old Posted Feb 20, 2007, 2:38 AM
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Jai Jai is offline
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SAFE HEIGHTS - Reach for the skies, but get quake-smart MASTER PLAN 2021
Moushumi Das Gupta
New Delhi

WITH THE new Master Plan ridding Delhi of a height freeze, seismolo- gists and structural-safety engineers have warned that utmost care will have to be taken to ensure that the proposed skyscrapers do not become life-threatening during an earthquake. The concern is not unwarranted since Delhi falls in Seismic Zone IV and is vulnerable to high-intensity earthquakes.

With no regulatory body in place to ensure strict compliance of structural safety norms, experts say builders are consistently flouting norms and in the process endangering the lives of many.

D.K. Paul, head, Earthquake Engineering Department, IIT Roorkee, says, “A microzonation study has revealed that buildings in the Capital — especially private buildings in the Trans-Yamuna and Walled City areas — will suffer maxi- mum damage during an earthquake.

This is mainly because structuralsafety norms have been openly flouted in the case of non-engineering constructions." Paul, who is also the chairman of the Microzonation Committee, says high-rises can come up even in high-seismic zones, but developers must ensure that constructions are structurally sound.

Clearly, it is critical that proper regulation is in place to make structural engineers accountable for the buildings they design. Professor A.S. Arya, national seismic adviser to the Government of India, says “both implementation of structural-safety norms and their enforcement are a problem at the moment”.

The existing building by-laws of 1983 do not have a clause that can ensure accountability of architects and structural engineers involved in planning buildings, says Arya.

He adds that detailed guidelines of all standard building codes must be in place and followed by structural engineers to ensure safety.


Sports in the city: Master Plan is game for it
Aruna P Sharma/ Moushumi Das Gupta
New Delhi

THE MASTER Plan of Delhi 2021 (MPD) not only proposes large-scale regularisation and vertical growth of the city but also speaks about making the city sports- and people-friendly.

MPD has proposed norms and space standards for sports facilities at the neighbourhood and the city level for all age groups. These facilities are to be made accessible by a network of pedestrian and cycle tracks. All existing sports facilities are to be upgraded. The aim is to promote sports activities as an important part of physical and social development.

The plan also proposes a women’s hostel, an old-age home and a geriatric centre for every 1 lakh inhabitants. It is projected that the gender composition will shift significantly to a greater parity of numbers between males and females by the year 2021.

Senior citizens recreation room will be free of FAR (Floor Area Ratio) and as an incentive higher FAR will be provided to the group housing complex having a recreational room, creche, library and reading room.

The population of children in the city (up to 14 years of age) is projected to go up to 49.9 lakh (21.7%) by the year 2021. The plan has prescribed anganbaris, creches, schools for the mentally and physically challenged and night shelters besides regular educational, recreational and health facilities.

MPD also aims at making the city inclusive, implying that paths and pave ments will have to be slip-free, have kerb cuts for wheelchairs and guide blocks for the visually impaired.

There is also a specific plan for street vendors, non-formal trade sector and service providers. What about quake-risk areas?

The microzonation study carried out in the Capital had revealed that in case of a high-intensity earthquake in Delhi, areas which are near the Ridge would suffer the least damage because of the presence of rocks, while Trans Yamuna areas would be the worst affected because of the presence of soft soil.

Walled City is another area which will be badly hit.

The reason — presence of a large number of old buildings in the area which have come up without any engineering considerations. “If the intensity of earthquake is high and the area’s vulnerability is high the damage caused will automatically spiral,” said D.K. Paul, HOD, Earthquake Engineering department, IIT Roorkee.

He added, “We are finalizing the microzonation map of Delhi right now. Once it is completed, we can chalk out strategies which needs to be implemented to make the buildings safer.” Once the microzonation of the Capital is complete it will come in handy for civic agencies. “With information like which areas in the Capital are highly prone to earthquakes civic agencies will be better prepared to minimise damage and effortlessly carry out rescue operations,” said Paul.


Vertical growth to come with incentives
HT Epaper
09 February, 2007

THE MASTER Plan for the first time has introduced the concept of ‘incentivised redevelopment’ where the permission to construct extra floors becomes the incentive for residents to voluntarily opt for redevelopment. Through this system, the Master Plan aims to set in motion the urban renewal of the city especially in old, dilapidated and unplanned areas.

Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken said that the minimum plot requirement for incentivised redevelopment is 3000 square metres that will have to be in sync with the overall area of four hectares. This will ensure that the development around heritage zones and historic buildings and monuments is sympathetic to the heritage near it— manmade as well as natural.

“In a democracy, incentivised redevelopment is the only way to renew the city. We would not like to coerce people. They can opt for it voluntarily if they are able to gather together and garner an aggregate of 3,000 sq m at least,” Maken said.

He said that redevelopment would not be encouraged in planned colonies that have reasonably good infrastructure. Rather it will provide an opportunity for unauthorised regularised colonies, villages and old dilapidated colonies to redevelop into good group housing complexes. Even the old government colonies that have a very low density of population and are outside the Lutyens Bungalow Zone can opt for redevelopment through collaboration, Maken said.

Jai's HONOLULU, Hawai'i photothread: ...showing off the Jewel of the Pacific!

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