Risk of earthquake: Govt to rebuild dilapidated residential, heritage bldgs

Staff Reporter :
The government has plan to rebuild the dilapidated residential buildings across the country and Dhaka, after demolition to save the lives of the residents living there for years.
“The government is working to rebuild the dilapidated residential buildings after demolition to save the tenant’s lives. With the financial and technical supports of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the buildings will be reconstructed with a design and ensuring those earthquake tolerant of 7.5 Richter scale,” State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr. Enamur Rahman on Wednesday made the disclosure while addressing ‘BSRF Dialogue’ at the Media Center of Bangladesh Secretariat.
Bangladesh Secretariat Reporters’ Forum (BSRF) organized the dialogue titled “How prepared we are to face disasters” at the Media Center of the Secretariat. BSRF President Tapan Bishwas chaired the event while its General Secretary Masudul Hoque moderated.
In response to a query regarding the buildings identified as ‘Archeological Heritage’ in different cities, the State Minister said, “Only the residential old buildings would be reconstructed to save the tenants lives. No one of buildings of ‘Archeological Heritage’ would be demolished. Those would be renovated by retrofitting for making those earthquakes tolerant.”
“The buildings which have already been built newly would be brought under a scanning programme and would be strengthened after necessary tests. However, the authorities will ensure that all new buildings are constructed following the ‘Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC)’,” he added.
Regarding government initiative of planting one crore of Palm trees to save people from the risks of lightening across the country, Dr. Enamur said that a project was taken in 2017-18 fiscal year for planting one crore Palm trees. Some 38 lakh trees were planted. But, those damaged due to lack of care, he said adding that in this situation, the government has scrapped the initiative.
“There are lots of modernized equipments now including ‘lightening arresters’, early warning system and lightening shelters. Those can protect people from the disaster giving advance signals through lightening apps and capturing the lightening. Initiative has been taken to procure the equipments. The people will be able to get advance signal and save themselves entering to the houses. Those were installed at some 40 places across the country on piloting basis at lightening-prone areas,” Enamur said.
In the programme, the State Minister elaborated government’s initiatives including the step of procuring modern equipments expensing some Tk2,273 crore which was approved by the ECNEC.
Initially, those will be supplied for major cities and gradually will be supplied to the districts and upazila levels.
He also informed that the government has already bought some 60 rescue water vessels with the facilities for the persons with disabilities. Now, another initiative was taken to buy some 60 water ambulances for giving emergency medical supports after rescuing from disasters.