Is the life of the residents of Gobu Park on the outskirts of Baku at risk?
Leaning buildings in Gobu Park
Residents of the Gobu Park residential complex claim that the buildings are in disrepair and pose a threat to the lives of residents.
“Five years have passed since they were built, and during these five years one building leaned to the right, and the other to the left. How can we live here in fear? People are in a panic. We have gone through so many dangers, we have come here, and here it is the same…”
Nizami Namazov, a resident of the Gobu Park residential complex, an internally displaced person from Aghdam, talks about this. According to him, several buildings in the town leaned over, sewer and water pipes were broken, electric cables were cut off, the residents found themselves in difficult conditions.
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The Gobu Park residential complex, located in the Garadagh district of Baku, was built for internally displaced persons who lost their homes during the first Karabakh war. The town consists of three parts – “Park Gobu”, “Park Gobu-1”, “Park Gobu-2”. They were commissioned in 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively. Currently, more than 3,600 families have settled in the residential complex, mainly migrants from the Lachin, Aghdam and Jabrayil regions.
“They allegedly repaired pipes, cut down electrical cables”
Shortly after the apartment complex was occupied, residents began to complain about serious problems. First of all, the sewerage and water supply failed. According to the residents, water and sewage flowing from water and sewer pipes not only flooded the yards, but also filled the basements of the houses. Later, when the sewerage and water pipes were being repaired, power lines were cut by mistake. There are ongoing power and water outages in the town. Waste water is still flowing into the streets.
“Old pipes were brought under the buildings, then they wanted to change them, they made it even worse, caused more damage and cut off the power supply cables. People stayed in the elevators. It is impossible to go down or up. When the lights are turned off, life stops here. There is no water, you are thinking what to do to live in such conditions,” Nizami Namazov complains.
Rashid Dunyamaliev, an internally displaced person from Lachin, says that due to the ongoing repair and construction work, dust is constantly rising in the town:
“Every morning we open to the sound of construction equipment. Environmental regulations are not followed. Excavations cause air pollution, we breathe dust, dust fills apartments. The water we drink is also dirty. Often the water is turned off due to maintenance work. When they let you in again, you have to open the tap and wait half an hour until the dirt drains and normal water comes out.”
“The basements of buildings are poured with concrete for strengthening”
In March, for the first time, residents sounded the alarm about the fact that house No. 17, located in Gobu Park-2, buckled and fell into disrepair. At that time, Rufat Guliyev, an engineer of the district housing and communal operational site, said in an interview with Baku TV that the water that filled the basement of the building caused it to warp.
“As a result of a sewer pipe puncture behind the building, water leaked into the basement of the building for more than a year and damaged the foundation. Now the holes have been opened, the water is being pumped out, and the basement of the building is being filled with clean cement,” he said.
Eldar Mammadov, executor of the work of the Crystal Absheron MTC which implemented the Gobu Park project, told Baku TV in March that there was no danger to life in the leaning building.
“Residents can live peacefully in their homes. There is a slight sedimentation of the foundation of the building due to the fact that water flowed under it for a long time. These water pipes have been removed from the building. Concrete is now being poured around and under the building to reinforce the building and prevent future damage.”
“The number of rickety buildings has increased”
But three months have already passed, the repair work in the town has not yet been completed, the sewerage, plumbing and electricity have not yet been repaired, and the houses continue to bend. And not only building No. 17 in Gobu Park-2. According to residents, the curvature is also observed on buildings No. 4 and 8 in Gobu Park-1 and No. 16 in Gobu Park-2.
The teachers, who did not want to give their names, also talked about the danger of the collapse of the roof of the building of school No. 32 in the city of Aghdam, located in town.
When we were in the residential complex, we were direct witnesses of construction equipment working at every step, sewage flowing through the streets, the buildings in question are actually twisted, and the roof of school No. 32 was damaged.
Concrete, which was poured into the basement of building No. 8 located in Gobu Park-1 to strengthen the foundation, began to flow from the school grounds located near this place.
“Before the buildings were built, there were underground channels, they were filled. Apparently, they filled it poorly, and when the water filled the basements of the buildings, these channels were washed out and emptied again. When the foundation of the building was poured with concrete, it probably passed through these channels and left the school grounds,” one of the residents explains.
MTC Crystal Absheron once again declared that there is no life-threatening situation in any of the buildings of the residential complex Gobu Park. As for questions about specific buildings, an employee of the company, who did not identify herself, said that their employees shared the necessary information with the media more than once:
“Our employees have repeatedly expressed their opinion about what happened in the residential complex.”
“The rickety building is considered an emergency”
Elnur Farzaliyev, a real estate expert, argues that the problems may be caused by the haste of erecting and commissioning buildings in a very short time:
“The construction of apartment buildings takes about two years, and they settle as much as possible while they are being built. At the same time, the settlement of the building also depends on the surface of the earth. If the building is slanted, it means that the structure was built incorrectly. A rickety building is certainly a source of danger. The building is in disrepair.”
Nusrat Ibragimov, a construction specialist, also said that there could be several reasons for the curvature of the building:
“Before the construction of buildings, mistakes could be made in studying the composition of the soil. As a result, groundwater flowing through here eroded the foundations of buildings. In addition, it is possible to change the structure of the rock as a result of vibrations occurring on the earth’s surface. It may also be due to the human factor. Research must be done. A conclusion must be given whether these buildings are suitable for use or not.”
Another construction expert, Javid Isaev, believes that the ongoing concrete work won’t solve the problem.
“Concrete work at the bottom of a building does not mean that the building will be usable. These repairs are completely useless,” he said.
“We arrived, cemented, they said it stands stronger. And now, somewhere in the last ten days, again a few centimeters of deflection. They put a measure in there to see if the bend continues. There is a slope of 20-25 cm at the top of the building. We live in fear, we do not know what our future will be like. If the building collapses, people die, who is responsible? It would be better if we were relocated, at least for a while. Then they would work quietly. When they are sure that the danger is completely eliminated, people would return,” Arif Gadzhiev, who lives in house number 17, says.