KA complex needs immediate repairs, says Mumbai firm



Endorsing the report about the structural condition of
the Kala Academy complex from experts at the Farmagudi-based Goa College of
Engineering, the Mumbai-based GEM Engserv Pvt Ltd has recommended immediate
repairing for this premier art and culture centre in the state.

The government had employed the services of GEM Engserv
Pvt Ltd, a firm with expertise in rebar detailing, technical services and
engineering consultancy, so as to obtain second opinion on the condition of the
KA edifice planned by the internationally acclaimed architect Charles Correa
and spread over an area of 31,000 sq mts.

Minister for Art and Culture Govind Gaude told ‘The
Navhind Times’ that the Mumbai-based consultancy firm has submitted its 100-odd
page draft structural audit report to the directorate of art and culture, which
among other technical observations, has recommended that the KA complex needs
repairs at the earliest.

“It basically says the same thing, which had been pointed
out in the report of the Goa College of Engineering,” he said, adding that the
GEM Engserv Pvt Ltd has used the word ‘repairs’, while the GCE report had used
the term ‘structural strengthening’.

The minister said
that he is presently going through the draft report, and the Mumbai-based
consultancy firm is expected to submit the full-fledged report at the earliest.

Incidentally, the matter as regards the condition of the
KA complex is presently being heard by the High Court of Bombay at Goa by way
of suo motu public interest litigation.

The second opinion was sought by the Goa State
Infrastructure Development Corporation
on behalf of the government from GEM Engserv Pvt Ltd as regards the
condition of the complex.

The court, awaiting the particular report, had observed
that the new structural audit report would only be recommendatory.

Gaude maintained that the draft structural audit report
speaks about strengthening of structure, including major repairs to be
undertaken in great detail.

“It also recommends that the slabs should not be
additionally burdened, urgent stress tests needs to be carried out, and so on,”
he mentioned.

Gaude also said that at this moment, he cannot reveal the
next step of the government as regards the KA

“The future action however will have to be decided sooner
rather than later,” he noted.

The Charles Correa Foundation has already come out with
the demand that the repair works of the complex, an iconic structure, should be
taken up with utmost caution, without directly razing down the structure.

Meanwhile, this daily had recently visited the KA to
learn about its latest condition, and found that the entire complex was in bad
shape through structural damage and rainwater seepage/ leakage.

However, classes pertaining to various art forms
continued to be conducted in its premises, as well as the administrative staff
operational in the complex, even though various auditoriums and galleries are
no more rented out.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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