Nepal Showcases the Country’s First Shock Table which was created with Indian Assistance

Nepal inaugurated the country’s first shock table facility on Monday, bolstering its earthquake engineering with built-in funding support from the Government of India and the United Nations Development Program. 

The facility was opened on the Pulchowk Campus of Tribhuwan University’s Institute of Engineering (IOE). 

The facility was created in partnership with the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC) of the Ministry of Urban Development and IOE, Pulchowk Campus, by the UN Development Agency and India. 

The newly established facility seeks to boost IOE’s research and academic capabilities in the field of safer construction and retrofit approaches. 

The technology that the Pulchowk Engineering Campus is attempting to develop is incredibly essential. This would protect not only those residential areas that are in danger but also the general public from future tragedies. This would not only support the government’s efforts but would also raise public awareness. 

More work is needed to improve the safety of millions of more Nepalese homes, and the government has agreed to give the necessary funding to expand the research facility and its applications. 

Karun Bansal, First Secretary (Development Projects & Reconstruction), Embassy of India in Kathmandu, spoke at the event and congratulated all involved in the facility’s construction, expressing hope that the facility, which is part of India’s larger post-earthquake support to Nepal, would help strengthen the government of Nepal’s capacity in building earthquake resilience. 

The goal of the GOI housing project was to create a repository of information, technological transfer, and research activities in addition to rebuilding earthquake-damaged houses. During the implementation of this project, it was discovered that many of the people who were impacted decided to adapt to current homes rather than build new ones. Testing the seismic performance of potential retrofitting systems was critical for retrofitting. In partnership with DUDBC and the Ministry of Urban Development, UNDP has established this shock table facility on the grounds of this institute with the support of the Government of India. 

Over 50,000 private homes have been built in Gorkha and Nuwakot with financing from the Indian government as part of the reconstruction project that began after the 2015 mega-earthquake. 

The Government of India commissioned UNDP and UNOPS to deliver socio-technical facilitation and consultation (STFC) services to these 50,000 earthquake-affected households in March 2018. 

The Government of India has contributed USD 150 million in post-earthquake housing assistance, comprising a USD 100 million grant and USD 50 million under our Fourth Line of Credit, to offer financial and technical help for the reconstruction of 50,000 beneficiaries. 

UNDP built the Shock Table, Nepal’s first of its kind, as a national research facility to test the seismic performance of buildings and structures composed of similar materials, under the direct supervision of experts. In the Pulchowk campus, a 20-ton payload capacity Shock table measuring 6 m x 3.6 m has been built. 

Physical testing of seismic performance of retrofitted and non-retrofitted model houses on the Shock Table will serve as a foundation for expanding retrofitting options and methodologies throughout Nepal.  More than two million private residences are at risk of collapsing in the event of an earthquake, and they may be made safer utilizing retrofitting technologies while maintaining their original designs and architectures. 

The shock table testing facility is expected to aid in the identification of relevant retrofitting technologies that will be required to make Nepal’s traditional homes safer and more resilient.