Coll Dipak & Dy Coll Pradip arrested for Canacona tragedy

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 12 February 2014 16:22 IST

Two more senior government officials, including a district collector, were arrested by Goa crime branch today in a tragic case of a collapse of a building in Canacona on 4 January, killing 32 workers.

North Goa Additional district collector Dipak Desai and Bicholim deputy collector Pradip Naik were formally arrested today, after they were quizzed by the crime branch for the last two days.

Both of them had served as the chief officer of Canacona municipality earlier, when they had issued occupancy certificates as well as various other permissions to the Ruby Residency project, owned by Bharat Developers.

Earlier, Prashant Shirodkar, yet another former CO of Canacona municipality was arrested by the police.

Whole Goa was shaken up with the collapse of one of the under-construction buildings of controversial Ruby Residency, killing 32 and injuring 22 workers.

Besides police investigations, a high level committee headed by retired IAS officer V K Jha is probing into the whole episode.

The police have also arrested two more senior officials – deputy town planner Prakash Bandodkar and municipal engineer Ajay Desai.

Vishwas Desai, a local contractor and co-partner of Bharat Developers, had surrendered to the police on 14 January, after being on the run for almost 10 days.

The prime builders and owners of Bharat Developers - Pradeep Singh Birring and Jagdeep Kumar Seghal – however are still on the run.

The court has finally declared them absconders and the police team has once again left for Mumbai and Delhi to trace them.

The prime facie inquiry report had established that the building collapsed due to erecting columns in a soft soil of a paddy field, faulty design and poor quality construction material.

Besides multi-phased Ruby Residency, Bharat Developers has also built Bharat Heights and Palolem Plaza in Canacona, with flats in the former project already sold out.

The government has presently sealed all its under-construction projects while people are residing in one of the phases of Ruby Residency, including sports minister and local MLA Ramesh Tawadkar.

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