Unanswered questions follow tilted apartment case

Excavation site adjacent to Apartment No.16, which should have been dug within the red box


Ulaanbaatar Administration Board organized its annual meeting last Saturday. The General Agency for Specialized Investigation (GASI), State Professional Inspection Agency, General Planning Authority, Property Relations Department and other related organizations attended the meeting to discuss the situation of Apartment No.16 in Bayangol District, which sustained serious damages after an adjacent construction dag into its foundation.
The goal of the meeting was to discuss the future arrangements based on the results of the inspection of the building.
Apartment No.16 tilted slightly to one side last week, reportedly due to a crack sustained after an adjacent construction started digging too close to the building. The tenants were evacuated to nearby hotels for safety reasons, according officials.
According to the geodesy assessment at 16 locations near Apartments No.15, 16, 17 of Bayangol District, there were no significant changes in the soil.
Chief of the Construction and Infrastructure Monitoring Department of the GASI D.Jargal introduced the results of the inspection and said, “Tenants can live in the apartments if the foundation soil is unaffected.”
The Capital City Design Institute is processing the work scheme while soil reinforcement works are set to take place after a full examination.

Fate of Apartment No.16 residents unclear

The company that determined that Apartment No.16 has tilted by four centimeters to the west side, in the opposite side of the adjacent construction that was excavated by BGBG Company. However, the GASI explained that the reason for the tilt isn’t related to the construction excavation.
Officials of the GASI reported, “We can’t determine the exact reason [for the tilt], whether the apartment was defective from the very start or if it shifted over the years.”
Residents believe that the apartment wasn’t defective from the start, since it was built by the Russians. In the Socialist period, newly constructed apartments used to go through many examinations by the State Commission, while it rarely happens nowadays.
City authorities believe that there could be other reasons for the apartment’s tilt. Some authorities stated that since the apartment is located on an earthquake zone, it might have leaned gradually over the years.
Director of the City General Planning Authority N.Natsagdorj stated, “An inspection on the quality of this apartment was made in 2013. There was no tilt during the inspection, unfortunately now the building leans by four centimeters.”
Ulaanbaatar Mayor E.Bat-Uul commented, “Citizens say that the apartment is tilted to the east side while some are saying that the building tilted to the west side. Who cares whether the apartment is tilted to the west or east. Most importantly, an examination must be done, when and why did this happen?”

BGBG Company issues explanation

Former Ulaanbaatar Mayor T.Bilegt innitially approved the right to NSR Company to use 3,000 square meters of land, adjacent to Apartment No.16, for garage and service purposes in 2008. In the following year, related officials formulated the regulation No.565, and transferred the right to BGBG Company.
Afterwards former Mayor of Ulaanbaatar G.Munkhbayar issued regulation No.470 in 2011, the permit for 2,000 square meters of the land was changed to housing purposes, and the remaining 1,000 square meters of land was to be used for garage and services.
Architecture and planning scheme the constructions were made by the General Planning Authority.
When asked why they broke regulations by the Ulaanbaatar Mayor, manager of BGBG Company Ganbat responded, “Underground garage land was excavated on a large scale, while the building on the ground level will be small as it was planned on the scheme.”
The fact that BGBG director D.Myagmarsuren and co-owner S.Oyungerel aren’t reachable has drawn much criticism and attention from city officials and the public.
T.Bilegt, who gave permits for the use of the 3,000 square meter land, and G.Munkhbayar, who gave the right to build an apartment on the land, are no longer in their positions.
The tenants of Apartment No.16 are waiting for answers from the Mayor, BGBG Company, General Plan Office, and State Property Relations Department.
At the end of the three-hour Ulaanbaatar Board meeting, the Mayor said that he will hold accountability to those who caused damages to over 250 occupants of Apartment No.16.

Source: Unuudur newspaper

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