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Inhabitants of Solanda cling to and reject an alternative from the Quito Municipality and Metro to deal with the damage to their homes

The authorities offered to carry out a study to determine responsibility for the damage to the houses.

According to the residents, about 400 houses in the Solanda neighborhood have structural damage. some are uninhabited due to the risk they represent for their owners, who holds the company responsible Quito Metro due to subsidence of the ground which led to the cracking and destruction of their buildings.

For their part, the current municipal authorities have offered the implementation of a causality study determined by the person responsible of damage to homes. This study is expected to be ready in approximately six months.

From the announcement by the Secretary of Security and Governance, Daniela Balarezo, together with the manager of the Metro, Efraín Bastidas, On January 7, 2022, an exchange of opinions began between the representatives of Solanda, who reject the six-month wait more to get an answer, and Bastidas, who stressed the need for the study to complement another, carried out by the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (PUCE), on the causes of the damage.

This PUCE study, presented in October 2018, contains five possible causes for the deformations of the sector:

  1. Consolidation (deformation) by lowering of the water table (moisture on the floor, the water is very close to the surface).
  2. Current status of sewers of the sector (spaces generated in the sewers due to breakage or fissures).
  3. load transfer to the foundation (loads due to the increase in the number of floors and their irregularity in the implantation area.).
  4. Fines washing (existence of voids under the subfloor of some homes).
  5. water extraction in the construction of the emergency exit n.º 4 inside the project Quito Subway.

This fifth cause, which refers to the “construction of a evacuation shaft or emergency exit connected to the Metro line in depth and the extraction of water (pumping) necessary for the construction of that exit”, is what the inhabitants of Solanda demand from the Municipality of Quito to proceed with a repair by the builder of the Metro, the company Acciona.

Fernando Chamba, President of the Solanda Executive Committee, pointed out that blame Acciona (Construction) and Generalli (Acciona’s insurance company) for the damages that have occurred and for those that may continue to occur while they wait for a response.

For its part, Efrain Bastidas He pointed out that the Quito Metro has indeed submitted claims to the insurer. But “if there were liabilities that had to be monitored or corrected by the insurer, the entity that corresponds to demand them is called the Superintendence of Companies, Securities and Insurance. They will be the ones who will demand, but you are going to see that today the Superintendency has not raised a claim or demand as such to the insurer indicating that it is responsible for the work carried out by the Quito Metro”.

But nevertheless, in a past interview Yesenia Riofrío, regional director of insurance of the Superintendence of Companies, Securities and Insurance, told EL UNIVERSO that this institution already issued a response on January 20, 2021 (a year ago). “According to Commercial Code, civil liability insurance, which is the coverage that they intend to make effective, it is not an insurance in favor of third parties, in this case it should be the Generali insured who should submit the request”.

That is, the company Acciona, as an insured of Generali, would be the only one with the ability to request payment for the damage caused to these houses. However, this has not happened yet.

Bastidas replied: “Acciona says, I expect an in-depth study of causality to raise the claim. It is that the PUCE study speaks of five causes, how much corresponds to each one, that is the question”.

On January 19, the mayor Santiago Guarderas received representatives from Solanda, but the closed-door meeting that took place at the facilities of the Metropolitan Public Potable Water and Sanitation Company (Epmaps) did not provide the expected peace of mind, as the residents denounced at the exit.

“Two and a half years that no decisions were made Despite the fact that there was a resolution of the Metropolitan Council for a complementary study to be contracted, which is necessary to determine the specific cause of Solanda’s problem, they did not do so. Us we are assuming and in the next few days we will launch the contest”, Guarderas detailed in a post-meeting event.

“Is unfortunate what happened, because waiting six more months not only threatens material heritage and health of our neighbors, but the loss of human lives due to the collapse of houses continues to be in imminent danger, in addition to consecrating the mockery and outrage of the Acciona and Generalli companies,” said Chamba.

Finally, this week they announced other claim measures, such as taking over the Metro facilities, if they were not heard, and obtaining a solution before the six months of the causality study. (I)

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