Botched bungalows

In the event of an earthquake measuring 8 or higher on the Richter scale, 60 per cent of infrastructure in Kathmandu will collapse, largely owing to their violation of building codes during construction. In Pokhara, of 1,500 houses built each year, nearly 50 per cent violate local construction codes. Rampant construction at the Lakeside is putting the fabled Fewa lake in peril. Kathmandu and Pokhara are no exceptions when it comes to flouting of building codes. Major hubs like Biratnagar and Birjung face similar plights.

The upshot of blatant disregard of building codes was all too apparent in the recent temblor in Sichuan province of China, where thousands of people lost their lives buried under the debris of ill-designed and improperly constructed houses. People should be made to realise that building codes are in place for their own safety. That when disaster strikes,

they might have no one but themselves to blame for the loss of life and property. The local administration, for its part, should do its bit to control corruption at city-level bureaucracy so that improper blueprints are not passed in exchange for a few bucks; those involved in construction violating construction codes should be brought to book. Unless stringent laws are in place, illegal construction will continue unabated, posing even greater danger to people and property.