A five-story factory had 30-centimeter by 30-centimeter (12-inch by-12 inch) structural columns that did not appear strong enough to handle the load. The engineers called for sealing the top floor until the building could be strengthened.
Another factory building had seven stories instead of the approved five and was meant for residential use. Its 25-centimeter by 25-centimeter (10-inch by 10-inch) columns were too small and the foundation was not wide enough to anchor the building in the red Dhaka clay. The engineers recommended closing the top two stories.
In other cases, the engineers called for the demolition of the illegal top floor of a seven-story building and the closure of several other buildings with structural cracks.
Rahman said some owners begged him to change the recommendations, saying they had three months of back orders to fill and then could address the problems. He refused.
Other owners appeared to think twice about the inspections.
The engineers were initially overwhelmed with requests to examine 400 buildings. But after their work began, some owners stopped answering their phones and engineers were unable to visit half of them, Rahman said.
It was not clear whether all the recommendations were being followed, but there were signs that some risky buildings were being forced into compliance.
Not far from the swampy pit where Rana Plaza once stood in the Dhaka suburb of Savar, a factory was dismantling – on government orders – two illegal floors it had been adding.
Industry and government officials said they were taking the results seriously and have announced a steady stream of factory closures in recent weeks.
“We are very much taking care of this thing, because we know that for one or two buildings, we cannot destroy all the industry,” said Azim from the garment manufacturers’ group.<< previous 1 2 3 4 5 next >>
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