Delhi HC asks govt to explain steps taken to deal with threat of major earthquake in city

It asked Delhi govt about steps taken or proposed to be taken to sensitize not only govt functionaries but also public with respect to what they need to do to save themselves from a major earthquake

Photo courtesy- social media
Photo courtesy- social media

NH Web Desk

Remarking that mere paperwork and consultations would not solve the threat that the citizens of Delhi faced due to heightened seismic activity, the Delhi High Court has directed Delhi Government and the local bodies to explain their "Plan of Implementation" to deal with a major earthquake, has reported.

The order was passed by a Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar in an application moved by Arpit Bhargava.

The application forms part of a pending 2015 petition concerning the seismic stability of building in Delhi.

The applicant preferred an application for urgent directions in the wake of as many as 11 earthquakes which hit Delhi between April 12 and June 4, 2020.

Before the court, the Delhi Municipal Corporations submitted that they were conscious of the seismic activity in Delhi and had notified an action plan for making buildings in Delhi seismic compliant.

It was added that the Delhi Municipal Corporations were working out a plan to implement the action plan.

The Delhi Government also informed the court that in April 2019, it had already issued a notification to make all buildings in Delhi seismically compliant.

In view of the submission, the court stressed upon the need of having "real work on the ground" and said, “..mere paperwork and consultations would not solve the (imminent) threat that the citizens of NCT of Delhi faces due to heightened seismic activity and that it is only actual work on ground which would come to rescue of the citizens. We hope the respondents are conscious of the same, and some real work on the ground is undertaken to save the citizens from a possible catastrophe.”

It thus ordered the Municipal Corporations of Delhi, Delhi Development Authority, Delhi Cantonment Board and Delhi Government to file within one week their respective affidavits explaining as to what their Plan of Implementation was, and how they proposed to implement the same on an urgent basis.

The court further recorded that even on May 1, 2019, it had issued a direction seeking a detailed action plan, however, the same was yet to be publicised.

It, accordingly, directed the Delhi Government to file an affidavit, stating the steps that it has taken or proposed to take to sensitize not only government functionaries but also the public at large with respect to the steps they need to take to save themselves from a major earthquake.

The matter would be heard next on June 18.

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