Delhi High Court rapped the Centre, Delhi government and municipal bodies on August 26, saying they were tempting fate and waiting for disasters to take place, as only 10-15 percent buildings in Delhi complied with the building by-laws.

The court read a report by a civic body that claimed if a Nepal like earthquake hit Delhi, it would wipe out almost 90 percent of the population.

An alarming situation was revealed through an affidavit that 25 per cent of the buildings in the MCD areas fall under planned/approved area and 75 per cent area is unplanned and unauthorised…Out of this 25 per cent, people later carry out more construction which is not permissible under law,” a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva said.

The Quint

The bench was hearing a PIL by advocate Arpit Bhargava who questioned the safety of structures in the national capital if a Nepal like earthquake occured.

Noticing that during the hearing no one appeared on behalf of the Delhi government and the Centre too was also mum over the steps taken to make the city safe, the court directed them to file status reports on the policy with regard to the structural integrity of buildings, keeping in mind that Delhi fell in Seismic Zone IV.

Seismic Zone IV is a high damage risk zone which can expect the second highest level of earthquakes.

It said before September 23 , the concerned authorities in their status reports shall indicate the action taken by them in ensuring that the structural integrity of the buildings in Delhi are in compliance with the National Building Code 2005 prescribed for Seismic Zone

Feature image source: Reuters