Let alone taking precautionary measures to strengthen weak structures in the city, the Patiala Municipal Corporation neither has a record of unsafe establishments nor has it conducted any surveys till date to identify them.
This reflects the authorities’ preparedness in crisis management in the 250-year-old city, where there are many buildings which have outlived their time and are still providing shelter to many.
While corporations of Jalandhar, Amritsar and Ludhiana have well-maintained records of such buildings in their jurisdictions, Patiala civic authorities have not as much as conducted physical checking, especially in the interiors of the city — famously known as Old Patiala.
The recent spell of showers caused the roof a house in Baba Deep Singh Colony to collapse on September 6. But, no loss of life was reported.
Joint commissioner Nazar Singh said, “We have recently started identifying such buildings. The PMC building branch has started working on it and officials are yet to submit a report.”
PWD compiles list of unsafe public buildings
In 2011, the Public Works Department conducted a survey of the buildings here and declared 26 structures to be unsafe, most of which were government school buildings.
The PWD also declared 80 classrooms across 20 government schools as unsafe.
Two storeys of a government building in Baradari, which houses the office of the deputy inspector general of police, were also declared unfit.
But, the office has not been shifted despite repeated attempts.
The Patiala division II police station in Rago Majra also figures in the list, besides the Sanskrit College building in Main Market and the 3500 square-foot State Bank of Patiala office in Baradari.
A senior official from the PWD, on condition of anonymity, said that the department had written to the state government seeking funds to restore such potentially dangerous buildings. But, the government had not extended any support.
PWD executive engineer Rajiv Berry, said, “Though we are yet to conduct a fresh survey to identify unsafe buildings, our teams have been visiting buildings which were already identified to keep a tab on them.
Warning boards have already been installed at these buildings, he said.