National Institute of Technology Patna, India, Department of Architecture
Municipal Corporation of Delhi, India, Department of Civil Engineering


Today it is a proven fact that Natural Disasters can happen at any place irrespective of the developed, developing or the least developed status of a country. It can cause massive destruction to the lives and livelihoods of large population and hence, to the national economies. The unique geo-climatic conditions have made India highly vulnerable to natural disasters. Settlers and cultivators introduced masonry structures as dwelling places. These structures have naturally evolved over thousands of years and are the most tested and adaptable structures improvised by man. Depending on the local availability of materials, experience and knowledge they have gradually developed into present forms. Safety, utility and economy are the three guiding factors. Except for very specific and isolated reasons, it is very difficult to make improvement upon such time tested structures. Over the years depending on the availability of constructional materials, ingenuity of design capabilities and economic affordability dwelling places have developed as an art. These constructions vary from zone to zone. It is observed that recent activities of earthquakes are restricted all around the periphery of the Gangetic plane and foot hills of the Himalayas. The seismic activities in these areas are attributed to the tectonic movement of the Deccan plate and the main Asian plate. However, because of its occasional assault people often overlook to consider the action of earthquakes in the design of buildings. In the present paper actual practices in the earthquake hit areas in India are explored, their defects are pointed out and remedial measures are suggested.

Key words
Evolution of Masonry Structures, types and causes of failure, analysis and Design of Masonry structures, codal provisions