In the aftermath of the Dharwad building collapse tragedy, seven officials from the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation have been suspended.
Town Planning Officer Mukund Joshi, Town Planning Cell Assistant Director Ashok Gadag, Zonal Officer Prabhakar Doddmani, Executive Engineer V Sridhar, Assistant Executive Engineer Chandrappa, Town Planning Cell Deputy Director B V Hiremath and Assistant Commissioner (zone-3) Santosh Anishettar have been suspended and an inquiry is pending.
Speaking to TNM, Minister of Urban Development UT Khader said, “The Deputy Commissioner will head a team that will probe the involvement of the Municipal Corporation Officials. A police investigation has led us to believe that there was negligence on behalf of these officials. Once a detailed probe report is received, the government will take action.”
This comes days after an under construction building in Dharwad’s Kumareshwar Nagar collapsed, killing many and trapping several others in the rubble. As of Saturday, the death toll stood at 14 while roughly 60 people have been rescued. Several others were injured. NDRF personnel along with fire and rescue services were deployed to conduct the rescue.
Police officials earlier told TNM that Gangappa Shintri, father-in-law of former Dharwad Congress MLA Vinay Kulkarni, and one of the owners of the building, had invested money to construct a commercial complex in the area.
Gangappa, along with Vivek Pawar, the architect, and the other owners of the building, Ravi Basavaraj Sabarad, Basavaraj D Nigadi and Mahabaleshwar Puradagudi, surrendered to the police late on Thursday night. They were booked under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life) of the IPC. Police said the accused had sought anticipatory bail.
In the meantime, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy reacted to the tragedy and stated that if any negligence or foul play was found on the part of any officials, strict action would be taken against them.