Are newly-built high-rise buildings safe in Kyrgyzstan?

BISHKEK (TCA) — Special attention of government agencies, the media and general public is currently paid to the quality of construction works in Kyrgyzstan. The reason was the recent collapse of a building under construction in the southeast of Bishkek. The Avangard Style construction company, a leader of the country’s construction market with a 19-year history, is constructing that high-rise building.

A 740 square meters extension facility under construction (where a sports complex should be) attached to the main building collapsed because of violation of construction rules and the lack of state architectural and construction supervision. As a result, 11 construction workers suffered.

Construction works were suspended until the end of the clarification of the cause of the collapse, the State Inspectorate for Environmental and Technical Security said. The Inspectorate did not give its permission to continue construction of the building. After the investigation, the facility will be demolished. The Avangard Style company will pay an administrative fine for non-compliance with the technology for construction and installation works.

According to official data, Temirlanbek Sultanov is the head and founder of Avangard Style. The company belonged to the current presidential adviser Kalykbek Sultanov until 2011, when he was appointed Minister of Transport and Communications of Kyrgyzstan.

Under Kyrgyzstan’s law, officials are not allowed to be engaged in commercial activities, but civil servants who own businesses come out of the situation by re-registering their companies to trusted persons or close relatives.

It was not the only case of collapse at facilities under construction. Last May, as a result of a strong wind, part of the wall of a building under construction collapsed into a yard of the neighboring residential multi-storey building in downtown Bishkek. Fortunately, there were no casualties.

Prosecutor General’s Office conclusion

According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, officials of the State Inspectorate for Environmental and Technical Safety did not conduct mandatory construction supervision over the construction of the 14-storey multi-apartment house at the intersection of Tokombayev and Sukhbaatar streets (Southern Highway) in Bishkek, constructed by Avangard Style LLC.

After the incident, the officials of the State Technical Inspectorate, in order to conceal their illegal actions, entered into collusion with the construction company’s employees and compiled and registered forged acts on allegedly completed works from May to August 2017, the Prosecutor General’s Office said. The permission to carry out construction works expired on July 28, 2017 and was not extended in accordance with the established procedure.

The Prosecutor General’s Office has initiated a criminal case for abuse of office and forgery.

Triple control

Construction companies should be responsible for the safety of residential buildings which they sell to citizens. According to the legislation, buildings under construction are subject to triple control. Project authors should carry out their own supervision, developers or customers – technical control, and the State Inspectorate for Environmental and Technical Safety – architectural and construction supervision.

Developers should monitor the input control of all building materials and equipment used. Construction companies should ensure control over all technological operations on which the safety of buildings depends.

The State Technical Inspectorate should check the compliance of the works performed with the requirements of technical regulations. General contractor conducting construction is responsible for poor-quality construction. Violation of technical regulations entails administrative fines.

There have been no facts of destruction of objects after commissioning so far, officials said.

Quality of building materials

On November 1, Kyrgyzstan’s MPs considered amendments to the Law on safety of building materials, products and structures. The amendments will bring Kyrgyzstan’s regulatory legal acts in line with the new edition of the Commodity Nomenclature for Foreign Economic Activity of the Eurasian Economic Union.

A draft technical regulation of the Eurasian Economic Union “On the Safety of Buildings and Structures, Building Materials and Products” is currently being developed to establish mandatory safety requirements for the EEU member countries, but the regulation will be adopted not earlier than 2019.

Before the EEU rules are introduced, the Economy Ministry of Kyrgyzstan proposed to develop domestic requirements on the safety of building materials.

In 2016, more than 69.6 thousand tons of cement was imported to Kyrgyzstan, but only 15 thousand tons of them were confirmed for compliance with the technical regulations. Thus, about 78% of cement imported into Kyrgyzstan last year did not pass quality control, which does not ensure the proper quality and safety of construction works and buildings.


Times of Central Asia