‘Retrofitting clinics’ to strengthen govt. buildings

‘Retrofitting clinics’ to strengthen govt. buildings


Madurai: The Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC) has formed ‘retrofitting clinics´ in 13 centres across the country to suggest ways to strengthen government buildings and structures so that they are able to withstand powerful earthquakes and other disasters.

Seven of the 13 clinics would train engineers in earthquake engineering so that there would be no dearth of personnel to assess the strength of government buildings, roads and bridges, according Rathinavel, a civil engineer, who recently underwent training at the CIDC. One of the clinics would be set up at the Thiagaraja Engineering College near here, he told PTI.

The Gujarat earthquake which caused widespread disaster and shocked the entire nation and the devastating tsunami in coastal areas of South India in December 2004 once again brought to the fore the extremely poor sense of preparedness that existed, especially in the first few hours of the disaster strike. Also cautionary mechanisms were inadequate and structures ill-equipped with devices and construction materials that can make them withstand such high intenstiy pressure.

According to Rathinavel, a batch of 35 engineers across the country had been recently trained in retrofitment technology at the Indian Institude of Technology, Roorke, of which eight were from Tamil Nadu.

Recognizing the fact that there were relatively fewer engineers who studied earthquake engineering, the government, Disaster Management Authority and CIDC have decided to train engineers to assess the strength of the buildings and devise a plan that makes them stronger and safer.

The engineers, assessed 25 buildings in Delhi alone and came up with an action plan which will be implemented and if found productive, replicated in other parts of the country.