HC asks AAP govt, civic bodies for action plan to deal with earthquakes

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In the wake of several minor earthquakes in and around the national capital in since April, the Delhi High Court asked the AAP government and civic authorities on Tuesday as to how well prepared they are if a major tremor hits the city.

A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar asked the Delhi government, the three municipal corporations, cantonment board, DDA and New Delhi Municipal Council to file affidavits explaining steps taken or proposed to be taken to ensure safety of people in the event of a major earthquake.

The bench gave the Delhi government and the civic authorities one week to file their affidavits and listed the matter for hearing on June 15.

The court also directed the authorities to make the public aware about the action plan in place, if any, for their safety in the event of a major tremor in Delhi.

A detailed order of the court is awaited.

The order came on an application moved by advocates Arpit Bhargava and D K Sharma claiming that the authorities and Delhi government have not done anything despite several directions by the court to develop an action plan.

In their application, they have sought directions to the Delhi government and civic bodies to put in place an action plan in a time bound manner.

The application was filed in Bhargava’s main petition filed in 2015 claiming that the seismic stability of buildings in Delhi was poor and in case of a major earthquake there could be large number of casualties.

The petition is still pending before the high court which from time to time has directed the Delhi government and civic authorities to develop an action plan.

In the application, Bhargava has contended that around 11 earthquakes have struck Delhi since April 12 and according to experts a big one was imminent which is why he has moved the court now for urgent directions.

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