Uttarakhand: Quake threat to Dehradun

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Dehradun, May 26: Unrestricted and unplanned development, characterised by shoddy construction, is posing a big threat to the city as it falls in zone IV of the seismic belt and many areas likely to become deathtraps when the tremors hit. A large number of denizens of the city have squatter settlements located in high density areas besides poor grade housing constructions which put them at greater risk of devastation. The lack of wide roads and open spaces around these settlements further exposes their vulnerabilty.

Talking to the sources, Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre (DMMC) Executive Director Piyush Rotela said construction of houses using low grade material put people at greater risk.''Without the right kind of building material and technology, the aftermath of a major earthquake hitting this city will be anything but good,'' he said. He said the DMCC was conducting inspections of building structures in 10-12 urban areas to identify their durability -- from the quality of bricks used, strucure layout, occupancy figures and so on.

The general public was being sensitised on the dangers of natural calamities and disaster management had been added as a subject in the school curriculum, he added. Uttarakhand's expose to natural calamities is not new as two districts have experienced major earthquakes- Uttarkashi (1991) and Chamoli (1999).

The districts of Pithoragarh, Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Bageshwar fall under Zone five -- the highest danger zone.

UNI

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