People can expect quality crisis management if an earthquake jolts the state.
In two years, five persons from each panchayat across the state will be trained to act in case of an earthquake and all primary health centres would be retrofitted to make it quake resistant, the disaster management department has announced.
Seismic retrofitting is the process of modification of structures to make them extra resistant to seismic activity, ground motion, or soil failure because of earthquakes.
Senior officials of the department said Rs 48 crore has been sanctioned for the same and the work would begin after the monsoon is over and there is no danger of any flood.
“Earlier, the urban development department had announced that the maps of the new buildings to be constructed in Patna would not be passed if they are not earthquake resistant. The department also has plans to construct buildings in a way that they are not scattered but planned properly. The department has also decided to train all civil engineers and 15,000 masons regarding the construction of quake-resistant buildings. In addition, the department will ensure that five people from each panchayat are trained on the standard operating procedures for earthquakes. The work in this regard will start after monsoon. The plan will take at least two years to be completed,” said Vyasji, the principal secretary of the disaster management department.
Various parts of the state fall under quake-prone zones. The districts, which fall under the very high-risk zone, include Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Supaul, Araria, Madhepura, Darbhanga and Saharsa.
In addition, districts, which fall under the high-risk zone of earthquake, include West Champaran, East Champaran, Gopalganj, Siwan, Saran, Patna, Nalanda, Sheikhpura, Nawada, Jamui, Banka, Bhagalpur, Katihar, Purnia, Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Samastipur, Begusarai, Khagaria, Lahisarai, Munger, Kishanganj and Sheohar.
Buxar, Kaimur, Rohtas, Bhojpur, Jehanabad, Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada and Arwal fall under the moderate risk zone of earthquake.
Patna lies in seismic zone IV, which is a high-risk zone.
Sources said constructing an earthquake-resistant building in seismic zone V costs five to six per cent more than traditional construction cost, four to five per cent more in zone IV and three to four per cent more is incurred in constructing such houses in zone III.
“The department has sanctioned Rs 48 crore for timely completion of this project. According to the plan, the primary health centres will also have a part of the building, which is retrofitted. The department is presently planning the same,” the principal secretary said.
At present, there are around 500 PHCs in the state.
“After the severe earthquake in Japan in 2011, followed by the tsunami, the Bihar chief secretary had convened a high-level meeting regarding the use of earthquake resistant technology. The tremors of the September 2011 quake in Sikkim were felt in the state too. A standard operating procedure for earthquakes is in the final leg of preparation. Bihar Institute of Public Administration and Rural Development would train the masons and engineers. Things are being worked out and the state will be completely ready to face any possible earthquakes very soon,” Vyasji said.