Will the Canacona tragedy inquiry dig deep enough?

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 05 January 2014 14:27 IST

Model of Bharat Height project near Chapoli dam

Will the authorities inspect construction quality of all the buildings of Bharat Developers or restrict it to only four buildings of Ruby Residency, out of which one has collapsed killing many workers in Canacona?

Chief minister Manohar Parrikar yesterday said he would order inspection of all the buildings of the same builder in Canacona. But South Goa Collector Venecio Furtado says he is not aware of it.

The adjacent buildings in Phase I of Ruby Residency are already occupied by people, including veteran Bollywood actor Asha Parekh and sports minister Ramesh Tawadkar.

Though investigations are not complete, prime facie findings establish that the building could have collapsed due to two reasons – faulty design and poor construction quality.

According to Parrikar, columns of all the almost-completed buildings were raised in a paddy field, which was reclaimed with mud but could not take the weight of the building, thus sinking on one side.

As this building collapsed yesterday, the next three under-construction buildings also developed cracks. This created suspicion about the construction quality of the building.

A team of experts from the Goa Engineering College would take the samples of the slabs of the collapsed building, to testify the construction quality.

However, when asked whether similar testing would also be done of other buildings of the project, the authorities maintain mysterious silence.

Eyebrows have also been raised whether proper soil testing of the area was done since both the projects have been constructed by reclaiming the paddy fields and filling the area near the adjoining hillock.

Perhaps this could be the reason why a slab of the same building had collapsed last year, killing four workers. The incident however was hushed up with political pressure, allege the locals.

Both the phases of Ruby Residency consist of around 200 flats – one, two and three bedrooms – out of which around 60 flats have reportedly been occupied.

Bharat Developers has also developed similar project near Chapoli dam – Bharat Heights – with independent gardens for some apartments and also penthouses.

The third project of Bharat Developers is coming up at Palolem beach – Palolem Plaza.

As all the three projects of the same builder have come up in the area of Canacona municipality, locals feels that the tragedy should open eyes of the authorities to conduct inquiry of all these projects.

S T Puttaraju, the chief town planner, has already confiscated files of Ruby Residency, but not known whether the town and country planning department would also revisit all the files of Bharat Developers.

Murmurs have also started about taking the probe further and find out which people’s representatives – MLAs and councilors – gained from these projects and in what manner.

 

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The author of this article needs to gain some more education on civil engineering matters before attempting to put forward some nonsensical theories. No slab can just collapse because the ground is weak! The columns would need to fail first, there is a chain of reactions that need to take place first in a specific order. The reasons for a slab to collapse could most possibly be due to less steel (correct steel design but wrong quantities placed on site), lean cement mix, poor curing or even removal of supports before the concrete attained full strength to support itself. Quite often supports are removed prematurely to be used elsewhere in order to save money on extra shuttering.

It would be best for reporters to leave theories of possible causes for structural failure to the experts at Goa Engineering College (where I studied) and instead concentrate on just reporting the truth.

Parrikar's statements and Furtado's ignorance of these clearly show the poor state of affairs in Goa. Such decisions are to be taken by the planning authorities, not by a CM. But how can they, now that they have surely accepted bribes in order to turn a blind eye whilst approving the project?

- Joao Paulo Cota, London | 05 th January 2014 23:06

 

The Government does not care about its people. It is more interested in the amount of Bribes & commissions it gets.

Every Bureaucrat in Goa, has to be bribed , to approve a project. Most notorious are the Panchayats, Block development officer & Town & country Planning personnel.

There is not a single Building Project .including Domestic residences in Goa that has not been paid bribes in its commission.

If the dis proportionate Assets of these Corrupt persons/bureaucrats are seriously investigated much more will come to light.

- N.Fernandes, London | 05 th January 2014 15:33

 

No Justice will be served to those killed in this incident, if the Panchayat, Sarpanch, BDO, TCP & Local MLA`s are not investigated, for their part in approving such projects.

Is it ant surprise that Ramesh Tadwakar owns a flat here?

What about the other Bureaucrats (Panchayat members, TCP,BDO)? How many own interests (Flats)in these projects?

- N.Fernandes, London | 05 th January 2014 14:58

 

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