Govt teams to demolish damaged buildings

Nineteen days after the Great Earthquake, the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) has set up teams led by Nepal Army (NA) to demolish quake-damaged buildings in Kathmandu and Lalitpur districts.

According to Shiva Hari Sharma, joint secretary at the MoUD, the teams will start working on Thursday as per the assessment of and recommendation of the concerned local bodies.

On May 8, the Ministry of Home Affairs had formed a committee under Sharma for recommending ways to manage buildings affected by the earthquake. The committee comprises members from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry for Federal Affairs and Local Development, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transportation, Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC).

As per the mechanism, the KMC will forward the recommendation to the committee through the Kathmandu District Administration Office.

Uttar Kumar Regmi, a KMC official, said they have already provided detailed information of about 200 buildings that need to be demolished in the Capital to the District Administration Office, while reports on 300 other buildings will be forwarded to the office soon. “This is a preliminary stage and we have assessed the condition of some 500 buildings in Kathmandu and Lalitpur,” Regmi said, adding that the number of such buildings might be much higher.

According to Sharma, the government authorities will use all available resources to demolish quake-hit buildings in the Valley. “Nepal Army will provide us details on required resources and we will support their endeavour,” he said.

The authorities, however, are yet to decide on the ways to pull down high-rise apartments and buildings damaged by the quake. Sharma said they will have to import necessary technology and manpower if such high-rise buildings are to be demolished.

According to NA Spokesperson Brigadier General Jagadish Chandra Pokhrel, the army is ready to act as soon as they receive direction from the government. The NA has stated that the task of clearing building surroundings and preparing environment to start demolition will be assigned to Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Nepal Police Kamal Singh Bam told the Post that they will be following the guidelines and procedures set by the NA to carry out the demolition works. “We will use local means and resources for the purpose,” he said.

Source: eKantipur