‘Earth sinking likely to cause damage to houses in flood-hit areas’

Srinagar: The state government Saturday warned that there was a possibility of more flood-hit structures collapsing once the ground beneath them will start drying and regaining the level.

The government also said that it is yet to certify the safety of school buildings and other educational institutions post-floods and have inspected hospitals and other selected buildings on priority.

“Currently the soil beneath the buildings is in super saturated state after absorbing lot of water. Once it will start drying it will try to change its positions and may damage more buildings. The structures which are not apparently damaged may develop cracks in coming days. This is normal phenomenon,” said S.K Razdan, Chief Engineer Roads and Buildings department, while addressing a press conference here.
Razdan warned that the next three months are critical and people of flood-affected areas should observe their houses for any cracks, which can lead to collapse of the structure.
“We have seen bridges and other structures which were not damaged during the floods but developed cracks few days after the water receded in the areas,” said Razdan.
He said it is the mandate of his department to certify the safety of the residential houses, but it is not possible for the department to do it, given the magnitude of the damage.
“But we have issued advisory in this matter which has been published in newspapers,” said Razdan, denying that the government holds any plan of air blasting to check the safety of the houses in the residential colonies.
Razdan said they haven’t inspected all the school buildings across the state to check their safety except few prominent schools in Srinagar.
“There are lots of school buildings but we have formed five teams which will access the magnitude of damage and check the safety of school buildings across the Valley,” he said.
He said his department checked the safety of all the main hospitals of the city on priority basis and they have all been declared safe except the part of SKIMS Hospital at Bemina which has suffered 10 to 15 percent of damage.