Technology, experts in need to demolish, trim shaky buildings

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Technology, experts in need to demolish, trim shaky buildings

May 23, 2015-

Knocking down thousands of multi-storey buildings that suffered cracks and other forms of damage during the earthquakes since April 25 has became a tall order for the government even as such structures pose serious threat to life and property in urban areas.

Moreover, Nepal’s call for foreign experts and technology to demolish the buildings has gone unheeded. The country has no capacity to pull down the houses safely and efficiently.

“We have sought support from 12 countries including our immediate neighbours to provide experts and technology but no one has responded to our request,” said a senior Foreign Ministry official.

The ministry wrote to some of the diplomatic missions in Kathmandu to make the request a week ago.

On May 13, the government formed a team led by the Ministry of Urban Development involving the Nepal Army to demolish damaged buildings in Kathmandu and Lalitpur.

Up to 500 buildings in the two districts need immediate demolition as they are derelict. Other buildings have to be demolished gradually. Officials said they were struggling to find equipment to tear apart damaged buildings over three-storeys as they pose threats in their vicinity.

The Home Ministry has asked the Foreign and Finance ministries to procure advanced technology—through fast-track process or by seeking assistance from India, China, the United States, Japan and other countries.

The authorities, however, are yet to decide on the way to pull down high-rise apartments and buildings damaged by the quake. Trained human resource is also in demand for the job.

Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey said last week that the government was in talks with neighbouring and friendly countries to bring in the equipment.

“We need a controlled strategy to demolish tall structures,” he said. The Foreign Ministry has already made informal request to China, India, the US and Japan to provide equipment for the purpose.

Published: 24-05-2015 06:36

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