Monday, August 24, 2015
Wonderful as a contractor assigned for demolition pulls out
In what seems to be lack of expertise and inability to perform, a foreign contractor who was assigned to pull down a 16 storey building along Indira Gandhi Street in Dar es Salaam has surrendered to do the job. The building which was ordered by the government to be pulled down over two years ago is still standing in its position despite of the fact that fund for its demolition is in place. The Ilala Municipal Director Isaya Mungurumi said last week in a telephone interview that, the Chinese firm by name of China Railway Jianchang Engineering Company (T) Ltd (CRJE) doing its construction activities in the country has pulled out of the contract. However, he said the municipal in collaboration with the ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Developments is looking for a strategic investor who would do the highly technical job which requires lots of expertise. Mungurumi further did not clarify reasons that led to the withdrawal of a firm as the issue is under investigations administratively after he company’s experts went outside the country to look for more experts to help do the job, has never come back an aspect that has ushered failure to execute the job bearing the timeframe set for doing the job is over. This paper tried in vain to get into contact with the Chinese firm whose offices are located at Upanga suburb in Dar es Salaam city centre for their comments as there was no response as efforts to reach its Managing Director through office landline telephone proved futile. The building which is located along Indira Gandhi Street at the heart of Dar es Salaam city is owned by a Dar es Salaam based business man Raza Huseein Damji with the National Housing Corporation (NHC) having a 25 percent share in the project. The government through the ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development ordered the building be pulled down at a cost of Sh. 1 billion after building experts discovered that it had developed some internal cracks on its walls whose presence poses a great threat to the lives of the people around it.
The Ministry had ordered the demolition after the former building owned by the same businessman that stood opposite it collapsed in March 2013 and killed about 36 people at a time when Prof Anna Tibaijuka was the Minister in-charge of the ministry. Contacted for comments, the Ministry’s Communication Officer Mboza Lwandiko told the Guardian in an exclusive interview on Wednesday this week in Dar es Salaam that, the ministry is in place to ensure that the demolition takes place but failed to identify when the exercise would actually take place when asked. The government had discovered that, the two buildings with different construction permits had violated the laid down contractual rules and regulations as stipulated in their contracts whereby the owner erected a 16-storey structure instead of 10 floors as stipulated in the building permits which had been issued by Ilala Municipal Council authorities in Dar es Salaam region. The mistake was discovered when the former building collapsed and during the investigations that lasted for a couple of one month later, building experts had discovered that the present building had been constructed at fault and recommended immediate demolition to prevent further losses. The survey conducted around the area last week noticed there is no sign post to indicate any danger around as required by the law so as to alert passersby in a bid to take precautions of the impending danger. However, a member of Tanzania Contractors’ Association Board who preferred anonymity said that, such sites which have been proclaimed to be dangerous are restricted from any social activities around near to it. Contrary to these alerts, it has been discovered that business is going on as usual in the area as though the site is safer to the understanding of many people who do not know the rule and instead keep on cross passing near to the building to attend their various business missions in the city. The sight has set tongues wagging and people say the owner might have used the time factor to make the people forget the matter although after the disaster the standing building was given a thorough safety inspection and discovered to have cracks that made it a risky structure.