Poorly built gym collapses after 2 years of operation

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There is a problem of low-quality buildings that are built under the guise of public construction. Uullin Uvgud LLC, headed by B.Tsogzolmaa, started constructing a sports gym in Chandmani-Undur soum in 2012 and commissioned it in 2018, but in the spring of 2020, the walls of the building had collapsed, rendering it unusable. During the storm of March 13 to 14, the west-side walls collapsed again. The possibility of reusing the building is very questionable, and the wreckage shows that the building was not built to standard from the beginning.

A citizen of Chandmani-Undur soum of Khuvsgul Province reported on social media that the gym was constructed for more than 10 years and collapsed less than two years after it was put into operation. The mayor of the soum said that he was appointed recently and that he wasn’t informed about the construction process and tender.

Head of Chamdamni-Undur Soum Mayor’s Office J.Baasanjav said, “One ger in the soum collapsed during the strong storm on March 13 and 14. The western wall of the gym collapsed.”

“The construction of the gym lasted from 2011 to 2014 and was accepted by the state commission in 2014. However, the gym could not be used due to the installation of the poor quality floor. The soum provided funds to replace it with a linoleum floor, and the gym opened in 2018. Damage to the building must be repaired by Uuliin Uvgud LLC. It is not known who was on the commission that accepted the building as safe. Probably, there were people from the province. The gym was built with a budget of 105 million MNT.”

“Last spring, the wall on the other side collapsed. The Soum Mayor’s Office sent an official letter to the Specialized Inspection Agency of Khuvsgul Province and the National Emergency Management Agency. A person from Uul-Uvgod LLC, which performed the construction work, came and inspected the building and promised to repair it, but it has not been repaired. It’s been almost a year since they lied about the renovations.”

Mayor of Chamdamni-Undur Soum L.Enkhjargal said, “It is difficult to comment because we have received a complaint from Uul-Uvgud LLC, which carried out the construction of the gym. On March 16, the head of the company called me and said, ‘If you publicize my information, you will be a criminal. You’re doing this on a contract basis.’ But how can I do that? People are upset about this. Everyone sees the reality. He explained that it was not a matter of organized slander in any way. This construction company is pressuring me. So I don’t have time to go to court unless I get legal advice. There is a lot of work.”

“When the state commission accepted it in 2014, the gym was not used for three years due to poor maintenance. In 2018, additional renovations were made and it was put into operation. Citizens who spread information on social media, probably thought that the construction work would be completed in 2018.”

“A professional organization has issued a conclusion that it is a non-standard building. Therefore, even if the three-year period expires, I think the construction company will be responsible for the damage. I have been working as a soum mayor for only about 100 days.”

About the case, Head of Uuliin Uvgud LLC B.Tsogzolmaa clarified, “Our company started the construction of the gym of the Chandmani-Undur soum secondary school in 2010 and put it into operation in 2013, and handed it over to the state commission. There is a lot of frost in the area where the gym is built. It is true that last spring the walls of the gym collapsed. We were waiting for the warm season to repair the collapsed area. However, due to natural disasters over the weekend, the exterior side of the wall collapsed. An earthquake may have played a role. This issue will be resolved by the agency and we will take care of the repairs.”

“Due to financial constraints, repairs were not possible last summer. When we first got the job, it was difficult without equipment. After all, the collapsed gymnasium was built in three years at a cost of only 105 million MNT. The construction work was completed with state money, which took a long time to be received.”

“Walls of the gym were broken because of earthquakes and disaster. Maybe a professional team will come out and conduct an inspection. At that time, it will be clear where the mistakes were made. At that time, everything was done according to quality requirement and it was accepted by the state commission.”

“We have been building since 2002. They build schools, kindergartens and all other buildings that can be built. As long as we can find a job, we can go anywhere and work. That’s how many employees are paid.”

Uuliin Uvgud LLC was involved in the construction of schools in Tsetserleg and Arbulag soums of Khuvsgul Province.

However, as can be seen in the side photo, it is clear that the construction work was neglected. A company that builds a building that collapses when the wind blows and the commission that inspected it must be held accountable. Because hundreds of children will study and play in this gym. Who would be responsible if they become victims of a poor building?

The relevant authorities responded that they were investigating the matter. However, it is clear that this is due to the company’s irresponsibility and weak inspections. Unfortunately, this is not just a company issue, and many low-quality buildings are still being built. It is detrimental to the economy, money, and human life.

Many people say that the state special commission takes gifts and money instead of inspecting a building. It is safe to say that low-quality buildings are being put into operation, due to low inspection.

Last summer’s rain infiltrated some apartments in 3rd khoroo of Bayangol District in Ulaanbaatar, leaving residents in dire straits. The number of such low-quality buildings and irresponsible construction companies is growing.

In Mongolia, the specialized inspection agency, which monitors the quality of construction, cannot work effectively. Inspectors are not able to monitor the progress of work and come a few times during the construction work. They do not have complete control. When the building is finished, they come and inspect it to approve it.

Construction companies bribe commission members for approval. Mongolia does not have a proper system for monitoring the construction process.

It is already clear that inspectors are not able to control the construction of low-quality buildings with poor quality materials and standards. Especially now that construction materials are becoming more expensive, people who want to make a profit by using cheap and poor quality materials, violating norms, standards and technology.

Therefore, it is necessary for inspection companies must have equipment and skilled engineers to check the quality of construction. Tenders must be selected for the responsible company. Most importantly, regular inspection on the building process must be done.

There are construction inspection companies in developed countries. They monitor each stage of the contractor’s work. At each stage of the work and the materials are inspected. However, there is no legal framework for land and construction control in Mongolia. If the building inspection law is not passed immediately, many low-quality buildings will be built.

Enkhnaranjav Tumurbaatar