Thursday, December 6, 2007

40,000 Unsafe Buildings, 50 to go Now

Wednesday, 05 December 2007
By Adel Al-Malki
The municipality will start tearing down at least 50 dilapidated buildings here within a few days, a city official said Tuesday. The action follows the findings of at least 50 survey reports that put the city's number of rundown buildings - many of them still in use and endangering the lives of their occupants - at 40,000, said Mohammad Ajaj, the Municipality's director of Emergencies and Government Relations Department.
"The demolition was finalized after a committee inspected the buildings and took samples of soil and concrete and analyzed them to determine whether they needed reinforcement or removal," said Ajaj.
The 40,000 buildings are in more than 48 districts that grew haphazardly.
Ajaj said a contract has been awarded for the demolition, which will be done in a way as to pose no threat to adjacent buildings and pedestrians.
The buildings targeted are divided into three groups, according to severity. Group A buildings are in serious danger, Group B mid danger and Group C low danger.
The Mayor has in a notification to owners of these buildings, asked for evacuation within 15 days. Some building owners, however, have not been located and the municipality needs the help of the public to track them down.
"Call the number 940 if you have any information about the missing owners of dilapidated building in your locality," Ajaj said.

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