“Some of the concrete pillar buildings like this one here are constructed with just four beams in each corner, this can have disastrous consequences in case of a future bigger earthquake,” Bhattarai explains, pointing to a new building coming up near Mangal Bazar.
Lack of urban planning, flouting of building codes, and poor quality construction materials plagued structural safety in Kathmandu Valley even before the earthquake.
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But three years later, it looks like residents have got over the initial shock of the quake, and have forgotten about safety again. It does not help that the municipal bureaucracy, lack of trained construction workers, and little awareness in the public have made it easy to flout safety codes.
Sharing his field experience from Nuwakot and Kathmandu, Bhattarai explains: “Most people don’t know that in order to qualify for compensation, they must work with a government certified contractor or engineer to rebuild their houses, otherwise they won’t be eligible for the compensation even if they have already built their homes.”