Experts indicated that the majority of the structures that were destroyed in the recent landslide in the state capital were constructed along streams or drains.
Rain-induced landslides in Shimla last week exposed the fragility of construction along streams and waterways, exposed the fallacy of the idea that reinforced cement concrete (RCC) structures provide resilience and strength in the face of natural disasters, and demonstrated the need for an urban planning strategy based on geology, according to experts.
People in settlements close to St. Edwards School are in a precarious situation, and RCC structures built on streams in the once-thriving village of Shamti in the neighboring Solan district have just plain collapsed. Residents of Krishnanagar in Shimla have been forced to leave their homes.
“When creating urban development plans, geological elements such as soil stability, water flow patterns, and topographical characteristics must be taken into account. According to SS Randhawa, the principal scientific officer of the Himachal Pradesh Council for Science, Technology, and Environment (HIMCOSTE), who has been appointed coordinator of the committee established to investigate the causes of landslides in Shimla, governments and local authorities must work with geological experts to create sustainable urban spaces.
He added that an incomplete grasp of geological dynamics must be balanced by the attraction of erecting structures close to water bodies in order to avoid endangering people’s lives and property.
People have been purchasing land up till now without researching the strata. According to experts, the majority of the structures that were destroyed in the recent landslide in the state capital were constructed along streams or drains. Tikender Panwar, a former deputy mayor of Shimla, has been requesting that a Supreme Court judge conduct an investigation into last week’s landslides because he believes that many of the damaged buildings were constructed despite being aware of their danger.
Many locations, according to structural experts, are not suited for construction. “The infrastructure for sewage disposal needs to be examined as well. Only 15% of the water consumed by Shimla each day—42 MLD—reaches the tank. Where does the remaining material go? questioned Rakesh Sharma, a former engineer who served as the department’s Jal Shakti chief.
Shimla has been expanding quickly; notable ridges including Sanjauli, Cemetery, Dhalli, Bhattakufar, Mehli, Kangnadhar, Khalini, and Bharari are on the outskirts of the city and are seeing unplanned growth. According to the chief architect of the town, Rajiv Sharma, “people are building houses with cheap construction material, making these structures even more vulnerable.”
Source- Hindustan times