Risky living in shaky buildings

Staff Correspondent | Published: 19:35 pm, 06 Jan 2017, Fri

Risky living in shaky buildings

Over 50 families are living amid life risk in 12 buildings of the staff quarters of Patuakhali West Zone Power Distribution Company (former Power Development Board) in the town as the structures are in dilapidated condition due to lack of renovation in over 40 years. During a recent visit, this correspondent found the buildings in a bad shape. Often chunks of plaster from roofs and walls fall off while rainwater easily enters the rooms during the rains. Most of the doors and windows are badly damaged and many of them have been removed, said Shamsul Alam Chowdhury, a resident of the staff quarters. "There was no major repair or renovation work after the buildings were built in 1970s. We are still staying at these quarters amid risk as living at rented houses outside would cost much higher than the official rent here, which is 20 percent of our basic salaries," he added. "We use polythene sheets in rooms for protection from rain water. We live amid fear as the building may collapse any time," said housewife Shamsunnahar Begum, a resident. "We urged the authorities concerned to take step for renovation of these buildings but they told us of fund constraints," said Abdus Sobahan Mia, another resident. Abdus Salek Khan, executive engineer of Patuakhali West Zone Power Distribution Company, said, "Hopefully these buildings will be renovated very soon as we sent several letters to the higher authority to take immediate step in this regard." "As a better alternative, we also sent a proposal to build new buildings to replace these old ones," he said.