#HeySmartCity: What About Our Old Buildings That Are At Risk Of Collapse?

City's Old Buildings
Image used for representation only

Smart City, Urban Development, Hyperloop, Metro, Smart Homes and more… This is the Pune of tomorrow, or so we believe!

But for now, let’s examine the present and prominent among the growing concerns is the fate of our old buildings, heritage or otherwise.

Pune has several old constructions that are apparently at risk of collapse and in this connection, Pune365 spoke to experts and informed citizens to get a sense of the situation. 

Nikhil Kadam, Social Activist says, “There have been so many recent cases of buildings collapsing that it has really become a cause for concern.

While Pune hasn’t had too many issues, one should not forget that most constructions older than 30 years could be at risk. 

Given this, there are approximately 400 buildings in the Peths and also in PCMC which are at high risk. It is essential that both PMC and PCMC carry out structural audits on priority basis as part of their focus on urban development.”

The department should have the authority to evict occupants and seal risky buildings while arranging for alternate accommodation for the residents.

Citizens also need to be well informed while investing in a resale flat, Also builders need to undertake repair work on a timely basis to increase the lifespan of a building. This will also help enhance the capacity and strength of the building, Kadam added.

Building collapse has become a regular phenomena says Arvind Khade, Active citizen.

According to the data shared by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), an average 2,700 people die OF building collapse Accidents every year.

Hence, it is essential that cities plan for upgradation and redevelopment of old buildings. There are several old buildings in areas like Aundh, Peths, Swargate and in the outskirts of the city that are prone to collapse in the coming years.

While the PMC has issued notices to buildings, there is no other plan of action which has seen any execution in the city.

A city-based Civil engineer Ahmed Ansari opines that the material used for construction is of inferior quality, due to which the lifespan of the building is already affected.

According to Ansari, a building constructed with good quality material can last for 65-70 years. 

According To The Indian Disaster Report, The Major Causes Of Building Collapse Are:

The structure is not strong enough to support the load and hence it fails when it reaches a critical stress level. The structure may be weak due to its shape, size, or choice of its material.

 

The instability due to geometry, design, or material choice, will cause the structure to fail from fatigue or corrosion.

Failure may also occur due to improper selection of materials, incorrect sizing, improper heat treating, or shoddy workmanship.

 

Failure may also occur from use of defective materials. The material may have been improperly manufactured or may have been damaged from prior use.

 

Vandalism, sabotage, and natural disasters can over-stress a structure to the point of failure. Improper training of those who use and maintain the construction can also over-stress it, leading to potential failures.

 

Ansari added, “In my opinion, it would be helpful if the government ensure that only good quality material is used while constructing any building. Additionally, they must ensure  a complete stop of illegal construction.

Furthermore, the design of the building should be checked by a municipal engineer as well, before approving the project and also after completing the project. Structural engineers should carry out regular inspections of all old building in the city every 5 years and order the necessary repair and maintenance.

If the above measures are implemented on priority by the municipal authorities and the builders, we as a city can prevent collapse incidents and save lives.

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#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them. 

 

Ankita Malekar

Ankita Malekar

A talkative tiny speck in the world of Media, with an itch for travel and paws.
Ankita Malekar

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