‘Action will be taken against leaders pressuring officials if there is complaint’

Terming the building collapse in Dharwad as an alarm to the government, Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara has said that the State government was seriously contemplating promulgating a Public Places Safety Act to prevent any such disaster in the future.

After visiting the site of mishap in Dharwad on Saturday, Dr. Parameshwara told presspersons that prima facie it appeared to be negligence on the part of the structural engineer, the contractor, the builder and Town Planning officials that had led to the disaster.

Dr. Parameshwara said that strict action would be taken against the builder and the engineer who have already been arrested in connection with the disaster in which 15 people lost their lives and 61 suffered injuries.

He said that it had come to light that the building owners had not acted on the complaints of the shopkeepers who had already occupied a completed portion of the building about cracks that had developed in pillars. It seemed all safety guidelines had been thrown to the wind while constructing the complex.

Replying to a query, he clarified that if there was any complaint about political leaders pressuring officials to issue building permission and other requisite permissions in violation of law, action would be taken against them.

Revenue Minister and district in-charge R.V. Deshpande, who accompanied Dr. Parameshwara to the site, said that the government had given compensation of ₹ 2 lakh to the family members of the deceased persons.

It would also compensate the loss of property and valuable material lost in the disaster.

The government would later decide on retrieving the money from those related to the building.

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