NEA to carry out detailed assessment of damaged houses

KATHMANDU: Nepal Engineers’ Association is carrying out detailed damaged assessment and repair of the Valley buildings that survived or were partially damaged in the April and May quakes.

More than 500 engineers will be hired and dispatched to repair the partially damaged buildings at the request of house owners, according to Nepal Engineers’ Association.

Dhruba Raj Thapa, President of NEA, said contact numbers and qualifications of the engineers will be available on the Nepal Engineers’ Association website for the convenience of the service seekers.

Licensed engineers will be given three-day training from this week before they embark on damage assessment and repair work.

The Institute of Engineering, Nepal Society of Earthquake Technology, Society of Nepal Architects and Kathmandu University are coordinating with Nepal Engineers’ Association for the detailed assessment and repair of the damaged and survived buildings in the Valley.

House owners will be given technical suggestions for repairing the buildings at charges ranging from Rs 2,000-Rs 5,000 per day.

The manpower and equipment required for the repair of the damaged houses must be arranged by the owners.

“Structural engineers, civil engineers, architects, earthquake engineers, geo-technical engineers and disaster management engineers will evaluate, monitor and supervise the repair works,” said Thapa.

The team of engineers comprising structural engineers, maintenance engineers and geo-technical engineers will be deployed while repairing the cracked beams, walls and columns of the damaged houses.

“The engineers will provide technical support for the supervision of the manpower and equipment hired by the clients to repair their houses,” he said.

The decision whether to retrofit the damaged houses will be taken by the house owners, he said.

“We cannot press the owners to retrofit the houses since it is very expensive. On top of that, the owners of the damaged and survived buildings are already bearing the brunt of repairing the quake damaged houses with huge investment,” he said.

In the immediate aftermath of the April quake, Nepal Engineers’ Association and the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction had carried out Rapid Visual Damage Assessment of around 60,000 survived buildings in the Valley, out of which only 51 per cent buildings were found habitable while 18 per cent were found uninhabitable.

Thirty-one per cent of them needed immediate repair and maintenance to make them habitable.The Rapid Visual Damage Assessment was then done for free.

The volunteers had pasted green stickers on safe buildings and yellow stickers on partially damaged buildings that could be repaired and maintained for living.

Red stickers were pasted on seriously damaged buildings that needed to be demolished.