Kashmir must ban construction in marshes: Experts
Srinagar: A scientist who worked with US geophysicist Roger Bilham on a new report predicting a mega temblor in the Kashmir Himalayas says quake preparedness is a must and it is imperative to ban construction in marshes, wetlands and high slope areas in the valley.
"Risk assessment and then disaster preparedness are more important than disaster response," professor M.I. Bhat told.
"Our preparedness should be through mass awareness about earthquake hazards through education in the construction industry, through a legislative ban on construction in marshes, wetlands and high slope areas in the valley which are vulnerable to high seismic wave amplification.
"We must start retro-fitting in existing structures and ensure strict compliance and enforcement of proper building codes," Bhat asserted.
From 2007 onwards, Bhat worked with Bilham on his study forecasting an impending mega quake in the Kashmir Himalayas with a possible magnitude of 9 on the Richter scale. The study's findings - it says this quake could kill around 300,000 people in Srinagar alone - were published in local newspapers last week and have spread fear in the valley.