Dharan takes pride in its quake-resistant buildingsDharan Municipality’s plan to have the city with earthquake resistant houses and buildings is picking up pace
Of the total houses constructed since the National Building Code (NBC) came into force seven years ago, 78.25 percent is earthquake resistant.
Municipality officials said they have made it mandatory for local people to meet the NBC which requires one to follow rules like building earthquake resistant houses or buildings to mitigate risk of earthquake. The municipality said more than 3,500 houses were built earthquake resistance in the past seven years.
Dharan was the worst hit by 1988 earthquake which destroyed around 2,500 houses, leaving as many as 138 people dead. The earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale, one of the biggest to hit Nepal in recent history, claimed 721 lives across the country.
“We have made it mandatory for people to construct earthquake resistant buildings so the city should not bear human and property losses like in 1988,” said Suraj Shrestha, senior engineer at the municipality.
He said that they have strictly implemented the NBC while constructing houses or building to reduce risks of earthquake at a time when the city is urbanising rapidly.
He said that around 800 maps are passed to build houses in the municipality every month, adding that people will be deprived of a certificate stating construction completion of any house and building, if one is found to be violating the NBC during construction.
Hari Bahadur Karki of the municipality, said that Dharan is also at risk of earthquake according to surveys carried out in different dates, while Nepal has been ranked the 11th most earthquake-prone country in the world.
The municipality regularly holds awareness programmes where it instructs contractors, construction workers and house owners about constructing earthquake-resistant houses or buildings.
The municipality with support from the local Construction Entrepreneur Association has so far trained 840 contractors, construction workers and house owners on constructing earthquake-resistant houses or buildings. It also disciplines those violating the NBC. Likewise, it also rewards those implementing the NBC.
Shrestha said that about five percent of the total buildings approved for construction are found to have violated the NBC.
He said that they monitor houses or buildings under construction in the city a week before starting the construction works to ensure that the NBC is implemented while constructing houses or buildings.