PANAJI: The collapse of an old building adjacent to the Azad Maidan early Sunday morning has yet again brought forth the question of safety of occupants.

Even after the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) identified 18 buildings in the city which were weak, a few years ago, their repairs are yet to see the light of day. This is due to the non-cooperation from the property owners despite the insistence of tenants to repair it, Panaji mayor Uday Madkaikar said.

“Many of these old buildings still practice the old rent system. While the tenants want CCP to repair the building, the owners refuse to grant us a no-objection certificate to do so,” he said. House repair licence can’t be given to the tenant. it has to be given to the owners.

Qualified engineers were brought on board to assess the stability of these buildings, one of which is the premises of the CCP office. CCP is now seeking legal advice on how to go ahead with the repairs.

“We have floated a tender two weeks ago to prepare a stability report of the CCP office building. We will also take legal recourse to obtain a repair licence for other old buildings,” he said.

Ketak Nachinolkar, a conservation architect, said the rent control act is a complicated law but structures undergoing deterioration must be protected.

“Any building that shows signs of collapse like leakages, cracks or deteriorating wood must be evaluated as per its criteria in the interest of safety. Certain buildings are approaching 150 years and as such the need to evaluate them is important,” he said.

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