With many of its buildings old and dilapidated, the State government has directed all its department heads to urgently get comprehensive safety audits done.
The order addressed to all HoDs was issued in October last year by Chief Secretary Puneet Kumar Goel who has asked them to treat it as “most urgent”.
Goel has also said in the order that the Public Works Department (PWD) will be the ‘nodal department’ to get these safety audits done, according to information furnished during the recently concluded budget session of the Goa legislative assembly by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.
The issue had been raised via an unstarred question by Congress’ Aldona MLA, Carlos Alvares Ferreira, who cited the incident in Porvorim where a person with disability, Sidney Rodrigues, fell from the second floor of the old SCERT building after the railing of the balcony gave way. Rodrigues died later in hospital.
Goel’s order asking HoDs to carry out the safety audits of all government buildings across the State also cites the tragic incident of Rodrigues’ death. Goel’s order also asks the HoDs to ensure that the buildings are accessibility compliant.
Meanwhile, the State government is yet to compensate the family of Rodrigues, according to Sawant’s reply to Ferreira’s unstarred question in which the latter had sought to know if any ex-gratia or monetary compensation was paid to the family after the fatality.