As the effects of the tremors that ravaged Nepal were felt in the capital on Saturday and Sunday, the Public Works Department (PWD) has begun inspections of its buildings and flyovers. The department maintained that all its 76 flyovers and hospitals are ‘earthquake-resistant’ and built according to the rules prescribed by the National Building Code.
Officials also maintained that hospitals built by the department in the last three years were based on the ‘base isolation’ technique. In this, the foundation is separated from the floors above. So when there is an earthquake, the upper floors are not affected. Hospitals built using such a technique are LN Hospital and the upcoming 700-bed hospital in Dwarka.
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“Our staff is conducting regular checks on all our flyovers and buildings and have submitted reports which have so far shown that our structures are intact,” a senior PWD official said.
According to PWD officials, an earthquake-resistance test is carried out at the time of designing a new building or flyover.
“The quality of steel and its placement and binding is checked at the time a project is being designed. In most cases, we use re-enforced cement concrete for every flyover and conduct a dead weight test as well as live weight tests. Dead weight is the weight of the flyover itself and live weight is the weight of a moving vehicle. We also check if the bridge is wind-resistant,” the official said.
Officials also claimed that maintenance of the flyovers are carried out on a monthly basis to check for any cracks.
Meanwhile, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) maintained that they were “more than adequately prepared” to deal with any aftershocks. Elaborating on the measures, Ajay Kumar, Chief Security Officer at NDMC said, “Our teams have been provided with the necessary equipment for removing debris. The control rooms have been alerted.”