The Gausia market authority is retrofitting its building with the help of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) to increase the strength and come out of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha’s list of vulnerable buildings.
Although the Gausia authority took the step to get Rajuk clearance, it did not take the capital development authority’s permission or any kind of directives and suggestions for the task. Rajuk, however, is aware of the renovation work and does not have any objection.
Sheikh Abdul Mannan, member of Rajuk’s planning division, yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune: “We know that Buet is retrofitting the Gausia market.
“The market will hopefully overcome its vulnerability and there should be no objection and question about the quality of work.”
Retrofitting is a new technology for rebuilding, even changing, parts of old, risky buildings, thus ensuring safety of the buildings and people living in them in a megacity like Dhaka and experts say it can be performed while complying with the existing building code of Bangladesh.
Buet Prof AFM Saiful Amin said: “We are retrofitting only the vulnerable columns of the building. After completion of the work, the building will be fully risk free and will last about 50 years, if the market authority takes proper care of it.”
Retrofitting is a popular technology all over the world and it involves use of any of three processes – fibre-reinforced polymer, micro-concrete and ferrocement – to protect old and risky buildings from earthquakes and avoiding collapse, he said.
Engineer Sheikh Muhammad Shaheedullah, who owns a company that has expertise in retrofitting, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Retrofitting is an acceptable and dependable technology to increase strength of old buildings. But experienced workers and experts need to be involved in applying the technology appropriately.”
Some shop owners of Gausia market told the Dhaka Tribune that a few ceilings, walls, floors and stairs of the market building have developed cracks.
Joynal Abdein, joint secretary of Gausia market shop owners’ association, denied the claim, saying: “The only crack that is seen is the joint between the two adjoined buildings of Gausia and Chistia markets.”
In 2010, Rajuk detected 321 outworn and risky buildings in the capital.