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Will probe builder-politician nexus, says Parrikar

By Ians

Panaji, Jan 7: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday assured a probe into the builder-politician nexus if "substantial evidence" was tendered. At least 17 people were killed in a building collapse Saturday.

Parrikar's assurance comes after the opposition parties claimed Sports Minister Ramesh Tawadkar backed the ill-fated project, in which two flats were allotted to him.

"I will probe the nexus if people provide substantial evidence," Parrikar told reporters on the sidelines of a function in the capital.

Tawadkar, a legislator from the Canacona assembly constituency, 80 km from here, denied the charge and said he bought the flat with his "hard-earned money".

At least 17 people were killed in a building collapse on Saturday.

"The flat has not been given to me in return for a favour," Tawadkar clarified. However, both the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party demanded a judicial probe into the accident.

The government has appointed a three-member panel headed by a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer to probe the reasons for the crash and fix responsibility for what Parrikar called was "Goa's biggest building disaster".

Parrikar also said that nearly a dozen bodies, believed to be still trapped under the rubble, will be salvaged within 24 hours after a building adjoining the crash site is demolished. It has developed cracks and is posing a risk to the rescue teams.


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