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Goa building collapse: Deputy Town planner Prakash Bandodkar arrested

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Last Updated: January 06, 2014, 23:11 IST

Goa building collapse: Deputy Town planner Prakash Bandodkar arrested

Bandodkar and two municipal engineers have been suspended following the incident.

Panaji: Police have arrested Deputy Town planner Prakash Bandodkar over the collapse of an under construction building that left 17 people dead. Bandodkar and two municipal engineers have been suspended following the incident.

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar claimed that the disaster could have been averted had the officials acted swiftly at the time of the incident. "This tragedy could have been averted had the municipal engineers been more alert. This is an engineering tragedy. He was so casual that he did not even ask for a NOC certificate," said Parrikar admitting that engineers gave clearance certificate to the building without proper check.

Chief Minister had a meeting with all the agencies carrying out the rescue operation and has reportedly ordered them to demolish the adjacent buildings which has been tilting. The demolition is likely to be carried out on Tuesday. Rescue operation will resume after the adjacent building is demolished.

The CM, however, has maintained that there was no delay on the part of the government in calling in National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and that he had personally overseen the rescue operation. "There was no delay in rescue work. I was personally present at the accident site to see the rescue efforts. The collector was there in 15 minutes, the police did a good job but there was not a central command," he said.

Rescue operations have been halted after the adjacent building were seen tilting. NDRF sources have said that there is a possibility that the adjacent building might be collapsed anytime soon. The site has been declared unsafe.

Parrikar on the first day had given orders to the local administration to demolish the adjacent buildings.

The under construction building that had collapsed in Canacona in Goa on Saturday, had claimed the life of at least 17 people and the NDRF are still saying that more bodies could be under the debris. The rescue operation has been tough due to lack of access.

There are questions being raised regarding the delay in bringing in the NDRF for the rescue operation. The team from Pune was called only 24 hours after the incident took place.

The government has ordered an inquiry to look into whether permissions were flouted during construction of the building. A team has also been asked to assess the quality of building materials used.

The police have filed an FIR against the builder and municipal officials who sanctioned the construction of the building. There have been troubles in the past as well with the building as a slab of the same building had collapsed in 2013. Locals have been opposing the project on grounds of it being environmentally unfriendly.

An under construction building, Ruby Residency, had collapsed in south Goa at 3 pm on Saturday. Following the mishap, Goa Chief Minister assured that stringent action will be taken against the builder and municipal officers concerned in connection with the collapse.

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Bandodkar and two municipal engineers have been suspended following the incident.


first published:January 06, 2014, 23:11 IST
last updated:January 06, 2014, 23:11 IST