Prompt action against unauthorized buildings: Ministry

20 May 2017 07:48 am - 13     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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In the wake of the collapse seven-storey building in Wellawatta on Thursday, the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry assured legal action would be taken against all substandard and unauthorized constructions in Colombo.

It said initially, action would be taken against the unauthorized constructions alongside the canals in Wellawatte.

Subsequently, some 1,800 constructions in Wellawatta and Bambalapitiya identified as substandard and unauthorized will be screened for gross violations of construction procedures and stern actions will be taken against the owners.

Addressing a news conference held at the Ministry, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said they had launched a sample survey in February 2017 to list out unauthorized constructions in Colombo.

“This survey will be expanded beyond Colombo with the assistance of the Statistics Department. So far, we have identified about 10,000 substandard structures which had mushroomed in Dehiwala, Mt. Lavinia and Kolonnawa as a result of unplanned urbanization. Action will be taken against the owners. Some of the buildings may have to be demolished while some others may be fined,” he said.

Meanwhile, commenting on Thursday’s building collapse in Wellawatta where one person was killed and more than 20 injured. The minister said a structural failure had caused the tragedy.

He said the owner had obtained approval for the plan from the Colombo Municipal Council for a housing complex to be built on this land in 2009 but had not obtained a Certificate of Compliance prior to occupying the building.

“To obtain a Certificate of Compliance, the standard of the building should be evaluated by a team of technical experts. This had not been done for this housing complex. Against this backdrop, the owner had started constructing another building adjacent to the housing complex on a section of the canal reservation land without approval from the authorities. This was the building which collapsed,” the minister said.

He said they had written to the IGP urging action against the building owner under the Penal Code on the basis that a valuable life had already been lost in this tragedy.

The minister said the incident was an eye opener to expedite action against unauthorized and substandard constructions in the country and highlighted the need for an effective and rapid legal procedure to take action against the owners of these building constructions. (Lahiru Pothmulla)

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  Comments - 13

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  • ameer Saturday, 20 May 2017 10:55 AM

    Please reveal the owner's and contractors names

    Ram Saturday, 20 May 2017 11:21 AM

    Wonder what the local gov bodies were doing while thousands of structures were erected. Mount Lavina is a mess with so many apartments coming up on a daily basis. Breaking Drains, dumping excess concrete in drains, breaking roads, breaking street boards, reducing water pressure, increasing traffic congestion, making garbage collection more challenging.......

    kan Saturday, 20 May 2017 11:23 AM

    Please stick to what you say and we see the action taken by police , CMC etc and not talk only.

    Raju Saturday, 20 May 2017 11:55 AM

    Nobody believes you people. Take action and then talk

    melda Saturday, 20 May 2017 02:53 PM

    first get rid if corrupted unqualified technical officers in municipalities and councils. they do not know anything but they are the people who approve the works of qualified engineers and architects. so with suxh system can we expect any better than this via DM Android App

    Sunil Saturday, 20 May 2017 03:08 PM

    No, it's too early. Wait until some more such structures collapse.

    IVJ Saturday, 20 May 2017 05:11 PM

    Our authorities are always on a slumber mode. They only react once crisis has happened, pathetic! Just look at what happened in the past...."Meethotmulla disaster", "Tsunami", .......!

    RAM Saturday, 20 May 2017 05:45 PM

    VERY GOOD DECISION. IT SHOULD NOT LIMITED TO WELLAWATTE, BUT TO ALL IN CMC LIMITS. THERE IS A TEMPLE BEING BUILD FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS ON THE EDGE OF THE KIRILLAPONE CANAL. WILL THE AUTHORITY TAKE THEIR FIRST ACTION ON THIS TEMPLE AUTHORITIES. THE TEMPLE SITUATED VERY CLOSE TO THE INCIDENT SITE A FEW DAYS BACK.

    Kadiya Saturday, 20 May 2017 07:28 PM

    Of course closing the stable doors after the horses have bolted,no?

    brainmsster Saturday, 20 May 2017 08:35 PM

    co melda your comment says it all. Underqualified and corrupt technical officers and government servants.... via DM Android App

    rethem Saturday, 20 May 2017 08:47 PM

    people and contractors build without approval most of the time because some government officers purposely delaying approval until they get their bribe. no bribe means approval gets long time . why dônt you ask FCID to inquire government officers who give approval.

    sam Saturday, 20 May 2017 09:06 PM

    If this is done half of the buildings in Colombo have to be demolished. via DM iOS App

    concern Saturday, 20 May 2017 10:09 PM

    What action could you take? Demolish all unauthorized buildings ??


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