Dharwad: With rescue operations underway for the sixth consecutive day in Dharwad’s Kumareshwar Nagar, the death toll has risen to 16. Over 60 people have been rescued until now in the building collapse. It is feared that people might be still trapped under the debris.

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had visited the site and checked the rescue operation being carried out by both the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams.

He had also met the kin of victims and assured them all possible help from the government. Stating that the state government was capable of conducting a speedy probe, Kumaraswamy had said, “We will bring the culprits to book and provide due compensation to the victims and their families.”

On March 23, an FIR was registered against the four building owners– Ravi Basavaraj Sabarad, Basavaraj D Nigadi, Gangappa S Shintri, Mahabaleshwar Puradagudi and engineer Vivek Pawar. All four of them surrendered before the police and the engineer was taken into police custody.

When asked about compensation for victims and kin of the victims, Kumaraswamy said he had authorised the chief secretary to take an appropriate decision. He added, “Since the model code of conduct is in force, I am unable to announce the quantum of compensation to be paid to the aggrieved parties.”

At least four people, including a couple, were rescued on Friday. The first to be rescued on Friday was a 24-year-old man named Sangamesh Ramanagouda, next to be rescued was a couple– Dileep Kokre and his wife Sangeetha and last to be saved was a 45-year-old woman, Honnamma.

Dharwad Building Collapse:

An under-construction building had collapsed on March 19 in Dharwad’s Kumareshwar Nagar. The building is owned by Basavraj Nigadi, Gangadhar Shintre and Ravi Sobrad. Reportedly, the construction had been on for the last two years. The first two floors had around 60 shops which were operational. According to reports, at least 150 people were in the shops when the structure crashed.