Natural Calamities like Floods, cyclones and earth quakes are not new to Odisha, and these are recurrent. But, the latest statistics which reveals about Odisha is really bothering . According to Mr. K. V. Singh Deo, 17 among 30 districts come under Earth Quake Vulnerable Zone III, either fully or partially.
The Earth Quake Zone includes 43 urban areas including Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Dhenkanal, Talcher, Angul, Balasore and Paradip. In such situation, questions arise about the safety of the houses and the apartments, where we reside. But, how do we know if our buildings can withstand earth quake or if the construction company has taken any such measures during the construction.
Well, as far as Odisha is concerned, BDA has made it compulsory to obtain a certificate from one of the empanelled structural engineers that the building plan can withstand earth quake. It is compulsory for any real estate developer to obtain this certificate from the engineer before obtaining approval of any construction.
The process does not stop here, before handing over the possession of flats or houses to the individuals, the builder needs to produce adherence of its structural plan by the concerned engineer. In case of high raise buildings which are above 30 meters, it is must that the structural plan is checked by NIT or IIT.
But what happens in most of the cases is that the real estate developers knowingly ignore structural safety, just to avoid additional costs. Many individuals who construct individual houses avoid taking plan from the engineers to reduce the costs, which is not at all safe for the construction and the people residing in it.
Just as people look for safety measures in several other things, they should also look, if safety measures have been taken by the developers before purchasing a flat or an individual structure and they should ask and cross check the documents to see if those specifications have been met.
Government is taking measures to ensure that earth quake resistance norms are followed by those concerned. But there is a great need to increase awareness and to educate people regarding the safety measures in construction, against earth quakes.