Goa government withdraws rescue work, forms panel to probe building collapse

Rescue operations were withdrawn after two adjacent buildings on the site tilted 'precariously'.

Panaji: Goa government today withdrew the rescue operations at site of building collapse in Cancona town after two adjacent buildings tilted precariously, and formed a three-member committee to probe the incident, which has claimed 17 lives so far.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said the rescue operations were withdrawn after two adjacent buildings on the site tilted precariously with one of them developing cracks due to constant drilling of the debris.

"I issued directions to the rescuers to pull out from the site. If the adjacent buildings collapsed, there would have been more casualties," Parrikar said.

"Mostly we will demolish the adjacent building before proceeding with the clearing of the debris," he said, adding the work cannot be bracketed under 'rescue' because there was a faint possibility of finding any more survivors.

The state government also formed a three member committee headed by a retired IAS officer V K Jha to probe the cause of the collapse and also for future action to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

Parrikar, however ruled out a judicial probe in the matter at this moment.

The CM said that the collapsed building was given the occupancy certificate (OC) on December 26 last year by local authorities without obtaining Structural Stability Certificate.

Goa police has already filed case against three builders Jaideep Saigal, Pradeepsingh Birring and Vishwas Desai, all of whom are still untraceable, Parrikar said.

Also, government will stop all the projects of this realty group (Bharat Realtors and Developers in which the three accused hold stake) in Goa until probe is on, he said.

Action would also be initiated against the officers from Town and Country Planning department who gave permit for this building project with 80 flats without referring the file to higher-ups, which is mandatory as per law, the CM said.

Criminal action would also be initiated against government officers who are involved in the illegalities related to the project, he said.

The under construction building in Chawdi area of Cancona, 70 kms from here collapsed on Saturday last. Its location on a narrow lane, a kilometre off the national highway linking Goa to Karnataka, had made rescue operations difficult.

Army personnel and local civic agencies, using earth- moving machinery, were carrying out rescue work without a pause since the building collapsed on the afternoon of January 4 scouring for survivors and retrieving bodies.

Sixteen people have been admitted to state-run Hospicio Hospital in Margao and Goa Medical College and Hospital near here

( Source : PTI )
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