Experts criticise govt rebuilding approach

  • Post earthquake reconstruction
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 9, 2015-

Arguing that a city is more than just residential buildings, experts have highlighted the need of comprehensive urban planning directives and not just new building codes for individual units in the reconstruction phase after the earthquake.

Habitat Programme Manager at United Nations Human Settlements Programme Padma Sunder Joshi said that the government has not considered settlement-wide programmes for creating earthquake resilient neighbourhoods and criticised government’s urban policy for disregarding integrated approaches for disaster preparedness.

Thirty percent of impact of the April 25 earthquake was felt in urban areas where, according to government, buildings suffered heavy damage for being built against government-prescribed codes. In response, new guidelines on urban planning and building construction were formulated which make drastic amendments in building designs so as to make them earthquake resistant.

“The provisions for urban areas in the proposed policy document are limited to management of earthquake-damaged buildings in urban areas, construction of emergency community buildings and house pooling,” Joshi said. But he instead suggested that government should focus on settlements that recognise the inter-dependence of access to livelihoods, access to decent and safe housing and access to services for resilient urbanisation. Joshi prescribed reducing the densities in city areas, enhancing the building inspection capacity of municipalities and integrated urban plans as solutions to the problem of urban management after the earthquake.

Published: 09-09-2015 08:41

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