OUTLOOK — By Ahmed Al Falahi — The incident of walls cracking in the building of the Directorate General for Housing in Ibri topped the pages of local newspapers last week. This is not the first incident of its kind. Months before, there was an incident of the collapse of parts of the College of Law, and the same thing happened at a municipality building. The fundamental question here is why are only the government buildings in this kind of sorry situation? The damages are happening in the buildings that house important institutions involved in the engineering side, such as the Ministries of Housing and Municipalities. The question is why? And even if they are not associated with the engineering, they are not exempt from the direct responsibility.
If we were to take up the subject of contractors we find that there are many people who are victims of these manipulators, who act as if they have no conscience. They are like vampires who are absorbing the bloods of others. One person whom I know told me that he has not yet moved to his new house when he found out that there were problems in the architecture of the building. The list of such cases is long enough.
Those contractors who want to rapidly finish the construction of a building, use low quality materials in building your home, and after less than ten years you will start seeing cracks appear in the corners of the house or defects in sanitary materials, doors or in the electric grid. There are many complaints from homeowners on the issue of security of their houses. Many have signed insurance contracts with their contractors for the duration of their stay and the safety of the building. There are so many cases like these in courts.
Back to the thesis of the topic: Why do the government buildings suffer this fate? This is because they have no supervisors. I was actually surprised by the response of one of the officials in the Ministry of Housing about the incident of the Ibri building. He said: “The ministry assigned a consulting office to finish the architectural procedures of the building,” so the ministry will first pull the “consulting office” in front of the court as they were entrusted to protect the building in the implementation process.
This is apparently the case in all the government buildings which assign responsibility to the consulting offices, even if these ministries have a staff specialised in architecture or civil fields. This is the same thing that is being said about the cracked upper bridges implemented by the Municipality, or the Ministry of Transport and Communications. All this is really surprising.