Bulgaria's Buildings to Have Seismic Passports by 2016, Govt Says
Large buildings in Bulgaria are to have technical passports by 2014 and all other buildings by 2016, according to Regional Development Minister Lilyana Pavlova.
In a Friday interview for private TV channel bTV, she said that the step was aimed at assessing the buildings' seismic resistance.
Pavlova noted that the procedure would take no more than a month.
Bulgaria's Regional Development Minister explained that the technical assessment would cost BGN 3-4 per square meter and was to be carried out by the floor property owners.
She reminded that buildings had been built according to projects specifying their seismic resistance but they had to be properly maintained.
"If load-bearing walls have been removed from the buildings, this has altered their conditions of use and has changed their initial characteristics," she added.
Pavlova said that the failure to get a building's passport would be considered a breach of law and recommended that insurances also be made obligatory.
"Under current regulations, all public buildings must be insured, while for private property it is highly recommendable," the Regional Development Minister stated.
The statement comes after several days of increased seismic activity in Bulgaria's capital and the southwestern city of Pernik .
A 5.8-5.9-magnitude earthquake struck the western parts of the country in the small hours of Tuesday, with numerous aftershocks continuing to strike the area.
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