BBMP to study vulnerability of buildings in Bengaluru

Houses prone to urban floods and fire to be listed; BBMP-NIDM study to help officials deal with emergency situations

Published: 12th July 2019 06:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2019 06:40 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The sudden collapse of the under-construction building in east Bengaluru has made the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) more alert. Along with National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), it has now decided to swiftly take up the study of all vulnerable points in the city. This will be done as a part of an exercise to prepare for any untoward incidents. The list of vulnerable points will come in handy for the officials associated with upgraded disaster management cell, which is being set up at the BBMP head office.

The current disaster management cell is equipped to handle only flooding in the city, but the upgraded one will look into all sorts of disasters involving engineering, health, trees, clinical, animal husbandry and solid waste management. “BBMP is capable of handling urban flooding, but of late building collapse has become a common problem in Bengaluru. It needs a lot of attention, and so a vulnerability mapping of the city will be done,” Raghu BV, a trainer of trainers (ToT) at NIDM, told The New Indian Express.
Under the study, existing buildings and their quality will be studied. The study will include whether the foundation is good, fire safety norms are followed, mitigation measures are in place, construction quality is good and whether the foundation laid can handle the weight of the building. Raghu said that the mapping will start soon. Officers will also be sensitised to start mapping at ward-levels immediately. 

Through mapping, vulnerable houses which are prone to flooding and fire, apart from those in low economic areas housing a large number of people and damaged buildings in slums will also be listed. Ward engineers will be made the nodal officers for each ward during mapping. Buildings will be checked whether they confine to the National Building Code 2016 guidelines. It is also mandated as per the Disaster Management Act 2005.

Sources in NIDM and BBMP said that if the mapping is diligently done, then half of Bengaluru’s buildings will fall under vulnerable category as building by-laws have been violated in most of the residential and commercial spaces. Randeep D, Special Commissioner (Finance and IT), BBMP, said that vulnerability mapping will start soon, and officials will be trained to be equipped to deal with all sorts of disasters.  They will also be given digital walkies so that they can be immediately contacted during emergencies.

Better disaster management in store
Soon, if people call up the disaster management number 080-2266000, an alert of the incident will be relayed immediately through the walkie to all officials concerned. The concerned teams will then rush to the spot. Officials will also be held accountable in case of lapses.

Building collapse in Bellandur area (2016) 
Reason: Plan violated
Kasavanahalli building collapse (2018)
Reason: Additional floors created against the plan, 
new superstructure based 
on old foundation
Hebbal roof biodigester Collapse (2019)
Reason: Under-construction scaffolding
Pulkeshinagar building collapse (2019)
Reason: Excavation in Basement

No arrests yet in building collapse AT Hutchins Road 

There was no progress made in the case of the twin building collapse on Hutchins Road, as most of the policemen from Pulakeshi Nagar were deployed for security duty in and around Vidhana Soudha on Thursday.

Five people, including a four-year-old girl, had died and four labourers were injured in the accident where residential multi-storey buildings collapsed at 1.30 am on Wednesday. BBMP officials had filed a complaint against the building owners, builder, contractor and architect-engineer after finding violations in the license conditions of both buildings.

All the accused persons have remained at large after learning about the building collapse.  An investigating officer from Pulakeshi Nagar police station said, “We are busy with special duty.” 

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