LAHORE, May 14: A team of engineering experts is set to conduct building stability tests (BST) of the LDA plaza that developed cracks after a massive fire erupted there due to a short-circuit.
A high-level inquiry team is finding out the possible causes of the incident which left 24 people dead. A group of engineers representing housing and building department, LDA, Tepa, University of Engineering and Technology (UET) and independent consultants are planning BST.
“This test is based on latest technologies and scanning of the building structure right from its foundations to the top storey. Through BSTs, the engineers will come to know exactly about the current stability of the entire structure. It will enable the experts to submit their final recommendations on whether to go for partial or complete demolition of the building,” an LDA official told Dawn on Tuesday.
He said the engineers had visited the building after the rescue officials cleared it. He said the inquiry team was likely to submit its findings about the incident to the quarters concerned within next couple of days.
The official was of the view that since the structure was apparently safe, except cracks on the ninth floor, the experts might recommend its repair instead of demolition.
The LDA engineering staff has started executing the rehabilitation work at the building by fixing steel rods at the plaza’s ninth floor. During a visit, this reporter witnessed the staff fixing steel rods to give support to the portion where cracks had developed.
A rescue official told Dawn that since the building was in bad shape, the entire official activities on the ground floor had been suspended.
LDA Urban Development Chief Engineer Israr Saeed told this reporter that the engineers would start conducting BSTs (around 12 tests) on Wednesday (today).
COMPENSATION: The LDA on Tuesday doubled compensation against each death from Rs500,000 to Rs1 million. The LDA would also take care of the injured and Rs100,000 each would be paid to the three severely injured employees. Seven officials who suffered minor injuries would get Rs50,000 each.
These decisions were taken at the LDA’s Governing Body meeting chaired by District Coordination Officer Syed Rizwan Mahboob. The meeting also gave a go-ahead to the officials concerned to recruit the ‘qualified’ children of the deceased employees by seeking special permission from the Punjab government.
The meeting recognised remarkable services of Zafar Khan, an employee of a private organisation, and announced a cash prize of Rs500,000 for him for saving lives of five people trapped in fire.
DENGUE: DCO Rizwan Mehboob on Tuesday directed all town administrators to remain vigilant as weather is conducive for dengue larva. He also directed them to pay a visit to the under-construction buildings to check dengue larva there.