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Decentralization of Tehran a better response to quake threat: expert

TEHRAN, April 12 (Mehr News Agency) -- A professor of geophysics says that the proposal to transfer people from Tehran is not a proper response to the threat of a major earthquake.

Instead of decreasing Tehran's population, the administration should try to decentralize its activities and move some of its activities away from Tehran, Bahram Akasheh told the Mehr News Agency on Monday.

The metropolis of Tehran houses about 10 million people.

Pointing to the results of a study conducted by a group of Japanese researchers, he stated that the transfer of people from Tehran to other cities is not a good solution to the problem.

Bahram Akasheh

He went on to say that the administration cannot force people to leave Tehran because they are free to live wherever they wish.

The smaller cities are currently facing many problems, including unemployment and a dearth of proper medical facilities, he noted, adding that most government centers are located in Tehran, and this has increased the emigration of people from other cities to Tehran.

The professor said the results of the Japanese research group's study show that any major earthquake in Tehran will have catastrophic consequences.

Akasheh suggested that instead of having Tehran as the country's political, economic, and industrial center, different cities should be selected to be centers for different activities.

It is certain that there will be a major earthquake in Tehran one day, and the daily expansion of the suburbs and the increase in Tehran's population adds to the concern, he said.

View of Tehran from Milad Tower

Akasheh added that the increase in the number of buildings constructed over fault lines in Tehran is another cause for concern.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on Sunday that his administration plans to reduce the population of Tehran by offering various incentives.

The administration will grant loans, land, and subsidies to Tehranis who move to other cities, Ahmadinejad said at a meeting with the directors of the Islamic Revolution Housing Foundation.

He said the administration has drafted a comprehensive plan for the transfer of people from Tehran Province to other provinces, adding that the details of the plan will be released at a later date.

Tehran has a population of at least 10 million people.

... Payvand News - 04/13/10 ... --

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