Tripura earthquake

Agartala: In a bid to make earthquake-resistance schools and other buildings across the state, the Tripura government has completed the retrofitting of the Melaghar Higher Secondary School building, said an official.

According to the official, engineers and masons are being trained at the Institution of Engineers, Gurkhabasti.

“Retrofitting works are going on in four buildings in the state — Melaghar Girls HS School, Mandaibazar HS School, Ranirbazar PHC and PWD buildings at Netaji Chowmuhani. For the construction of technology demonstration unit, the site has been selected at State Emergency Operation Centre at capital complex and DPR has already been submitted to NDMA for approval,” the official said.

He also said that Melaghar HS School is the second retrofitted school, but first in the entire masonry part of the school. The first retrofitting school (only a portion) was done in Sukhamoy School, Usha Bazar, Agartala in 2015 under the school safety program.

“The Government of India is implementing pilot projects on earthquake resilience of important masonry buildings. The three states — Delhi, Uttarakhand and Tripura — in the country are being allocated separate funds to deal with the natural calamities,” the official added.

The Revenue Department of the Tripura government is the Nodal Department for Disaster Management, and Public Works Department (PWD) is the implementing department.

Tripura is prone to various natural disasters, particularly to earthquakes as the state is situated in the most vulnerable earthquake-prone (Zone V) of India. This department is functioning for the greater interest of the poorest of the poor with the help of three-tier Panchayats in managing their affairs.

“We are also implementing another flagship National Earthquake Risk Mitigation Project of NDMA which will be funded by the World Bank. Now, DPR is being prepared with a consultation at the national level. In this project, we will be able to retrofit maximum buildings in the state. For this PWD has already finalised 67 buildings, four bridges, 7 overhead water tanks,” said the official.

The quantum of money allocated for the purpose is Rs 3 crore. Major components of the pilot project are seismic analysis and retrofitting of buildings, training of 50 practising engineers and 50 masons, artisans on earthquake risk management, construction of one technology demonstration unit on showing earthquake-resistant features and generating public awareness on earthquake safety.

In one such initiative to deal with the disaster, the Tripura government is organising a one-day Webinar on “Earthquake Resilient Hospital Infrastructure” in partnership with the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) on September 27 next.

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