UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: May 15th, 301 AP.

President suspends further spending on housing

President Okarvits has suspended all construction funding for projects in Utan Krysaror until building inspectors find the cause for the apartment block collapse on Sunday.

The President announced the decision to suspend all funding for housing construction in a press conference this morning, saying he would wait until the findings of the Presidential Enquiry team were finalised.

The announcement follows a press report yesterday, based on unofficial comments from a investigations official, that the building had not been properly reinforced for the weight requirements of nine storeys. President Okarvits said that if there was proof that the apartment buildings had been poorly constructed, he would "not hesitate to pursue prosecutions against the city council and construction firms involved."

Utani B'yan Governor, Hubert Artos, downplayed the President's comments, emphasising the "if", but said that he would also follow-up on the investigation. If the press reports prove correct, Governor Artos will be compelled to call for an investigation on his own city Councils, providing political fuel for a strengthening opposition. Governor Artos faces a state election in the next twelve months.

The apartment building collapsed on Sunday morning triggered by construction in a nearby apartment construction site. The 57-apartment nine-storey building housed 467 people who had previously lived in the shanty towns of Utan Krysaror. So far, thirteen are dead, and over two-dozen rescued from the wreckage. There is currently Û4 billion allocated to federal housing construction, of which Û3 billion is allocated to the fast-growing capital, Utan Krysaror.

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)