Illegal buildings disasters waiting to happen during quakes: Delhi High Court

High Court also said each government has been extending the date till which illegal constructions are protected from punitive action as it is "looking for votes".

High Court also said each government has been extending the date till which illegal constructions are protected from punitive action as it is "looking for votes".
NEW DELHI: Days after the killer earthquake in Nepal, the Delhi High Court today said unauthorised constructions and colonies in the city are "disasters waiting to happen" in case of a similar temblor here and asked the municipality whether it has devised any action plan.

A bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva observed that if there is an earthquake in Delhi like the one in Nepal, all the unauthorised buildings, constructed "on one brick" and without following regulations, will go.

It also said each government has been extending the date till which illegal constructions are protected from punitive action as it is "looking for votes".

"If people die, then who will vote," the court asked. "They are disasters waiting to happen. Are you (municipal corporation) taking strict action? Are you coming out with an action plan," the bench questioned while hearing a batch of petitions on unauthorised constructions in the city.

Under the recent amendment to the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) unauthorised constructions up to June 1, 2014 would be protected from punitive action. Under the earlier law, unauthorised constructions up to February 8, 2007 were protected.

In response, the municipal corporation said it was coming out with an action plan.
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The court, thereafter, said it will take up the matter of seismic stability of structures in the national capital in some other appropriate matter.

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Is your building earthquake proof?
1/8
ET Bureau

The devastating earthquake in Nepal has reignited the debate about earthquake safety in buildings across India, and how they can be made safer.

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ET Bureau

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The contents and utilities of the building are shaken and might suffer some minor damage, but it does not stop the building from being used right after the earthquake.
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The building, its occupants and contents are severely shaken. This can cause significant damage, but the structure does not reach a state of imminent collapse. The building will not be usable until a structural safety assessment is done to see if it can be retrofitted.
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