Saturday 24 Feb 2024

MMC inaction over 'unsafe' buildings exposed

Business activity continues in building Collector ordered demolished last month

THE GOAN NETWORK | NOVEMBER 30, 2023, 11:09 PM IST
MMC inaction over 'unsafe' buildings exposed

File photo of Margao MLA Digambar Kamat and MMC Chairperson Damu Shirodkar inaugurating the footwear showroom in the building which has been ordered to be demolished by the South Goa district Collector on grounds it is unsafe.

MARGAO

The Margao Municipal Council has been exposed hollow yet again on the question of initiating action against unsafe buildings dotting across the commercial capital as the South Goa district Collector, Asvin Chandru, IAS ordered the Margao Municipal Chief Officer to demolish an “unsafe” building in the heart of the commercial capital.

The demolition order issued by the District Collector assumes significance and comes against the backdrop of the fact that a footwear showroom was inaugurated on the ground floor of the building by Margao MLA Digambar Kamat last month in the presence of Margao Municipal Chairperson Damu Shirodkar, throwing up questions how come the civic body permitted the business activity in the building when the structure was declared  unsafe way back in 2018.

District Collector, Chandru, who is also the Chairperosn of the District Disaster Management Authority, South Goa ordered the MMC Chief Officer to  demolish the building in order to avoid any untoward incident.

The Collector’s order comes after a resident Colin Savio Coelho filed an application dated October 25, 2023 informing that there is illegal renovation and commercial activity being carried out at unsafe building on property situated on the Isidoro Baptista Road Margao.

In the notice, the Collector pointed out that the Margao Municipal Chief Officer had issued a notice bearing no. MMC / T * ECH / F - 7069450/17 - 18/2929 dated 25/5 / 2018 Under Section 190 of the Municipalities Act 1968, to all the interested parties for submitting Health Assessment Certificate of the building to check the stability from Government Registered Agency i.e. PWD/ Goa Engineering College.

Accordingly, the Department of Civil Engineering, Goa College of Engineering, Farmagudi-Ponda vide a test report dated March 23, 2018 submitted that the health condition of the said building is beyond repairable and retrofittable and the building is unsafe for human habitation.

Reacting to the order, Shadow Council for Margao Convenor Savio Coutinho has said the Margao Municipal Council needs to bury its head in shame. “We have said it before, and are repeating it yet again, that the Chief Officer and the Chairperson of the Margao Municipal Council have become puppets of the Margao MLA Digamber Kamat. It is very disappointing to see them crawl when they don't need to even bend to the dictates of the Margao MLA, Coutinho said. 

Coutinho added: “This is a fit case for Vigilance inquiry as to how trade license was issued in a dilapidated building upon which a notice was served under section 190. It is even more astonishing to learn that though the Order of the Collector was issued on November 13, the Chief Officer Gaurish Sankwalkar is sitting tight on the same, probably on account of his master's command”.

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