HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The rapid assessment conducted by the government in apartment sector has showed that 81 per cent of the apartments in the Valley are not fit to live in after the devastating earthquake of April 25. The Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC) said that out of 41 high rises evaluated so far, only eight are habitable.
Depending on the level of the damage caused due to the earthquake, a technical team of the DUDBC has been issuing green, yellow and red placards. Eight apartments received green placards, 31 received yellow, while two apartments were given red placards, according to the DUDBC.
Green refers to no apparent hazard and restriction on use or occupancy. Whereas, yellow means entry by public is not permitted and represent some degree of threat to occupants. Red is for those buildings that are not habitable and holds significant threat to life safety. Park View Horizon of Dhapasi and Oriental Apartment of Kuleshwor had received red placards as they suffered heavy damages due to the earthquake.
“The concerned developers of apartments that have received yellow and red placards are required to conduct detailed study or evaluation on damages,” said Machha Kaji Maharjan, senior divisional engineer of Housing Division of the DUDBC. He said that such study should include details on types of damages caused and plans for corrective measures they plan to adopt, which will require the government’s go-ahead.
In many apartments that received red and yellow placards, residents have not been able to remove their belongings since the temblor struck a month ago. However, DUDBC officials said that people who had been living in apartments that have been handed yellow placards can take out their belongings by adopting certain safety measures. In case of buildings that have received red placards, important belongings and documents could be taken out after consulting with DUDBC, but the risks for entering such buildings is higher.
Normally, red placard means no entry is permitted before detailed assessment. This study is conducted after some time of the earthquake, following the rapid assessment to assess the level of damage in detail, according to the Seismic Vulnerability Evaluation Guideline for Private and Public Buildings. This assessment is necessary for planning reconstruction activities or to assess level of intervention required for repair and retrofitting of affected structures by the earthquake.