Building rules to be toughened





TOUGHER construction regulations will soon be introduced in Manama after 15 cars were damaged when high winds blew aluminium cladding off a multi-storey building.

The Manama Municipality is spearheading the initiative, which it says aims to safeguard people’s lives following Monday’s incident.

It happened when winds of up to 70 knots made the recently redone fa¬ćade of the Bahrain Tower peel off and tumble onto buildings opposite and cars parked below.

The area around Al Khalifa Avenue continues to be cordoned off amid fears for public safety as high winds are expected to continue this weekend.

Manama Municipality director-general Shaikh Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said initial investigations show the silver and gold aluminium panels peeled off due to improper and rushed work by the contractor.

“The municipality is a regulator and gives building permits and licences to engineering firms and construction companies, whose job is to secure buildings and ensure they are safe during work and for years to come,” he said.

“Putting claddings is something that beautifies buildings, but it should be installed properly – this time no people were hurt, but we fear for the future.

“That is why we want to toughen regulations to ensure that similar incidents don’t happen in future.

He said the members from the Committee for Organising Engineering Professional Practice will also be involved in implementing the new regulations to ensure companies abide by the rules.

“Early inspection shows that the cladding was not properly installed and rushed by the contractor, whose company should have been monitored by the consultancy firm which comes under the committee,” he added.

Shaikh Mohammed said municipal officials and policemen have been supervising the removal of the remaining panels from the tower, which is one of the oldest buildings in the area.

“We fear the other cladding may fall since we suspect they have not been properly installed and for that we are removing all of them,” he explained.

“For new ones to be installed, the owner will have to submit a new request to the municipality and work will be supervised by us and the police during all the phases.”

The GDN earlier reported that the owners of the damaged cars have filed complaints at the Naim Police Station.

A 12-year-old Indian boy, Safwan Raji Sayed, was also injured during the incident


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