TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Tripoli municipality has obtained the legal permissions to rehabilitate a ruined building in Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood, Mayor Nader Ghazal announced Tuesday, but more than 200 other buildings remain structurally unsound and liable to collapse at any moment.
According to Ghazal, legal measures were finalized Tuesday that will allow the municipality to rehabilitate a decrepit building in the impoverished neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh that was last week deemed a risk to the public.
“We have promised to finish work on the building within 15 days ... and roads will not be blocked for more than two days, then things will return to normal” said Ghazal.
“We have not been able to intervene in cases of more than 200 nearly collapsed buildings because it requires a large treasury, and we have requested a private fund but have yet to receive a response from officials,” he added, referring to a report the municipality had submitted to Cabinet.
The architect supervising the renovation project, Khaled Hallal, insisted the work presented “no danger to nearby buildings,” pointing out that collapsed segments would be secured to prevent them from falling in.
“We will stabilize the areas that are partially collapsed before we start cutting them off gradually on every floor starting from the top” he added.
Ghazal said the first three floors would be removed to prevent any damage to shops set up beneath the building.
Member of the Municipal Council lawyer Khaled Sobh said the building was damaged in 1986 during the civil war when an explosive device went off under the building.
“In addition the current security situation that stormed the neighborhood" has had its toll, added Sobh, in reference to clashes that have taken place on and off in the densely populated neighborhood for the last few years.
Ghazal pointed out that rehabilitation work faced two central challenges: laws that prevent the violation of private property, and the lack of funds dedicated to preventing collapse through reconstruction.