Many buildings in Mussoorie, Nainital, Bageshwar unsafe
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Last Updated: Sunday, August 22, 2010, 12:57
Dehradun: Many buildings in hill resorts of Mussoorie, Nainital and Bageshwar in Uttarakhand, which fall under the high seismic zone, can be considered unsafe and faces high risk of damage in the event of an earthquake.

A new survey on tourist town of Mussoorie conducted by the state government's Department of Disaster Management has revealed that 18 per cent of the buildings, including some hotels and schools, face "high probability" of damage of grade V and IV in case of a big earthquake.

Significantly, most of these buildings were constructed in the pre-1950 era and some even during the 19th century.

Under the European Macro-seismic Scale (EMS-98), grade IV and V are important for vulnerability and risk assessment as these have the potential of threatening lives of the occupants of the buildings.

Since Mussoorie falls in zone IV of seismic risk map of India, the scale of the damage during an earthquake might be very high, the study said.

In all, 3344 buildings spread over 11 residential wards were surveyed in Mussoorie with the department using satellite imagery for mapping the infrastructure in global information system (GIS) environment.

Of the surveyed structures, the oldest was constructed in 1836 and 290 were observed to have been constructed in pre-1900 period. A nine-storeyed building was observed in ward number 8 of the Himalayan town and as many as 30 buildings were more than five-storeyed.

Analysts also assessed magnitude of the expected direct economic losses in case of damage.

The replacement cost of these buildings comes out to be Rs 143.85 crore. And in a seismic event, the likely damage to these structures would be Rs 92 crore. Total direct or indirect economic losses are estimated to be Rs 235.85 crore.

Similarly, a separate survey was also conducted on 1165 buildings in Bageshwar and 2865 buildings in Nainital in order to assess seismic vulnerability of the two towns of Kumaon region of the state.

Eight per cent of the surveyed buildings in Bageshwar and 14 per cent of building in Nainital show high probability of grade V damage and very high probability of grade IV damage.

The replacement cost of the buildings in Bageshwar and Nainital is assessed to be Rs 7.1 crore and Rs 56.96 crore respectively. In case of high seismic damage, the towns would suffer economic losses to the tune of Rs 12.82 crore and Rs 96.28 crore, respectively.


First Published: Sunday, August 22, 2010, 12:57

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