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India upgrading standards for critical infra to avoid Joshimath-like crisis

04:04 PM Mar 07, 2023 IST | Ground Report
india upgrading standards for critical infra to avoid joshimath like crisis

After the recent tragedy in Joshimath, India has started upgrading critical infrastructure standards to bolster its lifespan and disaster resilience as the country aims to increase capital asset spending by 37.4% in 2023-24 to ₹10 lakh crore.

India upgrading standards amid seismic fears

About 59 per cent of India’s landmass is vulnerable to earthquakes and 12 of the country’s 38 seismically sensitive cities, changing nature of natural disasters driven by climate change and the economy, revision for authorities to review seismic risks to critical assets is required, officials said according to the report of Hindustan Times.


The focus on creating updated seismic hazard maps and new design codes for pipelines and buildings will help ensure that critical infrastructure is more resistant to earthquakes and other natural disasters. This will help prevent future disasters like the recent tragedy in Joshimath.

The addition of new chairs for standardizations in top institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology and the National Institute of Technology will help ensure that the new standards are effectively implemented and enforced.


The BIS has given the task of R&D for the revamp to some of the country’s top technology institutions, and the new standards will be based on the latest scientific research and best practices.

Potential seismic hazard map

The focus is on ensuring that critical infrastructure is more resistant to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, and is designed and maintained in a safe and sustainable manner.


One of the first tasks at hand is an updated ‘potential seismic hazard map’ of the country, based on which the new codes will be implemented and which is being worked on at IIT Madras. Assets like pipelines, and arteries that supply everything from water to oil to industry, will have new design codes for higher resistance to earthquakes, said Chitra Gupta, senior scientist at BIS, the project being conducted by IIT Bhubaneswar.

The revamp of design norms and quality benchmarks is an important step towards ensuring that infrastructure projects benefit local communities in a responsible way, and help prevent disasters like the recent tragedy in Joshimath. Overall, this effort will help create jobs and investments, while also ensuring that India’s infrastructure is safe, sustainable, and meets international standards.


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