Margao: Will the order issued by the South Goa District Collector, Asvin Chandru, IAS to demolish an “unsafe” building in the heart of the commercial capital serve as a wakeup call for the Margao Municipal Council – which has been time and again found wanting in identifying the weak and unsafe buildings doting the commercial capital?
For, the unsafe building, which has been ordered for demolition by the district Collector, is not the only building which plays host to business establishments, with trade licences issued by the Margao civic body. In fact, one would come across a number of establishments operating in dilapidated buildings across the city even as a fresh survey on unsafe building has not been forthcoming from the civic body till date.
Fresh survey conducted on unsafe buildings in city yielded no results
The last time the Margao Municipal Council conducted a survey on unsafe buildings in the city was over a decade ago. The fate of the fresh survey on old and dilapidated buildings ordered last year by then South Goa District Collector, Jyoti Kumari remains unknown, with senior officials only saying the Municipal junior engineers are on the job to identify the old and dilapidated buildings doting the commercial capital.
In fact, when an old building in the market area of the commercial capital had collapsed in 2022, the then district Collector had issued instructions to the Margao Municipal Council to submit a fresh list of old and dilapidated buildings in the city.
The Goan Network
The civic body, however, had submitted a list of buildings compiled over a decade ago, promoting then Collector Jyoti Kumari to issue a fiat to the Margao Municipal Council to compile a fresh list of old buildings.
Sadly, the survey, however, did not make much headway, with the officials citing a host of problems encountered by the civic body in declaring buildings as unsafe and old.
MMC official suggests survey must be conducted by district collector
In fact, a senior MMC technical official pointed out that the best way to get a clear picture of the number of unsafe buildings in the city is for the District Disaster Management Authority headed by the district Collector, who is the Chairperson of the District Disaster Management Authority, to order a survey of the buildings which are unsafe and order demolitions. “There are so many issues involved in declaring a building as unsafe. A structural stability certificate is mandatory before any structure is declared as unsafe. A structural stability test is conducted by an agency upon payment of fees. There are instances, wherein the structure is in dispute over tenancy rights, neither the owner nor the tenant occupying the buildings are willing to conduct the structural stability test or to foot the bill of such a test,” the official said.