Construction projects already in progress w/o survey, planning: Report
Government-led projects for the construction of over 85,000 residences in Turkey's earthquake zone are already in progress and the projects are planned to be contracted to nine giant companies, all in close relations with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkish news agency ANKA said on Monday.
ANKA cited a document titled "Disaster Zone Construction Areas," prepared by the Ministry of Environment Urbanization and Climate Change, government-backed housing agency TOKI and Real Estate Investors Association (GYODER).
The projects, which involve construction of buildings on a total area of 23.4 million square meters in the quake hit provinces of Maras, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay and Adana, have already met with criticism by experts and officials of chambers of engineers, architects and urban planners, who said that they have been left in the dark and that planning such enormous construction activity within a matter of 20 days is "over hasty."
The chair of Turkey's Union of Chambers of Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), Emin Koramaz, noted that the cities of Maras, Hatay and Adiyaman were entirely destroyed by the twin earthquakes on 6 February, and told ANKA:
"Projects for the construction of residences should not be launched before revising master construction plans and urban plans, and particularly without conducting geological and geophysical surveys at planned sites, or without assessing the projects' potential impact on the infrastructure. Otherwise this will likely lead only to more disasters in the future."
The chair of the Chamber of Geological Engineers Huseyin Alan said:
"Government officials stated that areas for the construction of new residences will quickly be determined and projects will be launched by early March in some of these areas. We assume that the initial projects will be launched around areas where buildings were earlier constructed by the government-backed housing agency. Making assessments and determining the location of new building, carrying out drilling and required geological and geotechnical surveys, making plans on the basis of such assessments and surveys even before the rubble of collapsed building are removed, this seems far fetched."
"Surface fractures caused by recent quakes have not been mapped properly yet. Earthquake-induced deformations like liquefaction, lateral expansion, landslides, rock falls have not been mapped either. The areas in question should first be mapped accordingly and these maps should constitute the basis in assessing where new urban settlements will be established."
The companies that the government is set to contract residence projects are listed in the document as Kalyon, Kuzu Group, EgeYapi, Nef, Tahincioglu, Optimal, Dome, NKY and ANT Construction.