August 11: The government has amended the Earthquake Resistance Infrastructure Building Code almost after two and a half decades after its formation. The building code was introduced in the mid-90s to mitigate the risk of earthquakes in the country.
The government had given emphasis to earthquake resilient structures after the mega earthquake of 1990. It was in the wake of the major earthquake more than 30 years ago that the government for the first time had brought the building code. Amending the building code for the first time in 25 years, the government on Monday endorsed the Seismic Design of Building Code. The Ministry of Urban Development is planning to implement this new code as soon as possible.
Officials at the ministry informed that the government amended the building code because the old laws were not sufficient to address the current problems.
According to Joint Secretary at the ministry, Navaraj Pyakurel, the amended building code facilitates in preparing earthquake resilient engineering design of small buildings to skyscrapers.
He added that the new code was prepared after conducting a study on the impact of earthquake on land, which was done in collaboration with the Department of Mines and Mineralogy.
Now onwards, buildings in Nepal do not have to take reference from India. The new building code has fixed the size of beam and pillars as well as the rods required for making buildings, informed Pyakurel. Following this code will help in making buildings earthquake resilient, added Pyakurel.