PATNA: The state building construction department (BCD) is likely to complete the retrofitting work in the main Secretariat building and state guesthouse in the state capital by June. Officials said retrofitting work in the CM’s official residential buildings at 1, Aney Marg is also likely to be taken up in a few weeks.
“The retrofitting work in the main Secretariat building and state guesthouse commenced in February and it is targeted to be completed by June. We have also sought permission to take up the work at 1, Aney Marg for which we require it to be vacated,” said a senior engineer in BCD associated with the project.
Seismic retrofitting is the process of strengthening existing structure through appropriate structural design and construction for better safety against earthquake. Officials claimed that not a single government or private building in the state capital is retrofitted at present despite being located in high risk seismic zone-IV.
Sources said chief minister Nitish Kumar might shift to 7, Circular Road bungalow, which is allotted to him in the capacity of former CM. The BCD engineer said the time required for retrofitting each building would vary from six months to one year, depending upon the size of the building. For instance, the Vidhan Sabha or the main secretariat building may take around 10 months, but 1, Aney Marg buildings will require at least six months to be retrofitted.
The BCD engineer said a survey of Patna high court building for retrofitting purpose is in the final stages. Bihar State Disaster Management Authority (BSDMA) is providing technical expertise in this regard. A senior BSDMA official said retrofitting of buildings in Bihar is extremely necessary as the state comes into high seismic zone and there have been repeated incidents of tremors in the recent past.
Sources said the decision to retrofit important government buildings in Patna was taken after the massive earthquake of magnitude 7.9 on April 25, 2016 and its various aftershocks. Bihar Building Byelaws 2014 also make retrofitting compulsory for all new buildings in the state.
Main Secretariat is one of the largest government buildings in the state capital. Built by the Britishers in Indo-Saracenic style, it was completed in 1917.