May 19, 2024

After Ghatkopar tragedy, spotlight on hoarding safety: Experts call for structural audit of buildings


Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar: Following the horrific incident in Mumbai's Ghatkopar where a enclosure collapsed killing 16 people, concerns over the safety of enclosures have come into focus. Dr RM Damgir, an academician on earthquake-resistant buildings and former head of the civil engineering department at Government Polytechnic, has emphasised the importance of checking the integrity of large enclosure-built buildings, especially in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar.

Dr. Damgir points out that extreme weather events like high winds, storms and unseasonal rains pose an increasing threat to high-rise buildings with large enclosures. He emphasises the need for comprehensive inspection of the enclosure frames, bolts, welds, wind resistance and overall building load. Additionally, the structural integrity of the building itself is also very important.

Experts recommend that city governments mandate structural inspections for older buildings or those deemed potentially dangerous. Typically required every 20 years, with follow-up inspections every five years thereafter, these inspections evaluate the condition of a building's foundations, columns, beams, slabs, and other structural elements. Finding and correcting problems early can significantly improve safety.

Dr Damgir suggests conducting a thorough structural audit with the help of advanced tools like rebound hammers, ultrasonic pulse velocity testing equipment, half-cell potentiometers etc. He emphasises that these critical assessments should be entrusted to qualified structural engineers to prevent tragedies like Ghatkopar.


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