Officials claimed this structure was illegal as well, and they were tearing it down to avoid a repeat of Thursday’s disaster.
Four days after the Mumbra tragedy, which claimed 72 lives and left 67 injured, the site of destruction bore little evidence of the massacre it had witnessed on Thursday evening. The ground was levelled off, there was no sign of the seven-storey building that once stood there, and all that was left were the survivors. Victims rescued after the collapse are currently recuperating at various hospitals such as JJ Hospital, Byculla, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal, Sion, Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Kalwa and Thane Civil Hospital.
After almost 48 hours of painstaking efforts, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Thane fire brigade and Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) rescue teams managed to clear out most of the debris, declaring that no more survivors or bodies could be found at the site. TMC officials confirmed the number of dead as 72 and added that the deceased include the residents of the building and labourers working on the top floors.
No relief in sight
People have lost not just their loved ones but also their homes. Relatives of the injured said that no government official came to visit them after the incident. One of the victims alleged that no one has even spoken about providing them rehabilitation or any kind of financial relief.
Thane municipal commissioner RA Rajeev said, “There are no rehabilitation plans for the residents of the building yet. According to the law the government is not liable to provide rehabilitation to the residents of illegal buildings that have come up after January 2011. All three illegal buildings within the compound have come up after 2011 and hence the residents are not entitled for any rehabilitation.”
He added, “The residents of the collapsed building knew it was an illegal construction and still chose to live in it. We are pulling down the remaining two buildings in the same compound to avoid any untoward incident.”
Tabrez Sheikh, relative of Imran Sayyed, who lost 11 of his 13 family members including his pregnant wife and their unborn child, said they were uncertain about their future. Tabrez told MiD DAY, “We have lost all our family members and our house in the incident. We are poor people and have nowhere to go. The body of my sister’s eight-month-old child was recovered yesterday (Saturday). We have no idea where to go from here once Imran is discharged.”
10-month-old still unidentified
A 10-month-old baby, who was rescued late Thursday night, was admitted to the Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital in Kalwa. The hospital staff is taking care of the child, who miraculously survived the incident. Hospital authorities and police officials are trying to track down her relatives.
Dr Sadanand Waghchoure, medical superintendent of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital, said, “We have passed the information about the unidentified baby to all the hospitals where the injured from the building collapse have been admitted.
We have also distributed pictures of the child. So far nobody has approached us asking for her. The baby will be at the hospital for a couple of days. Then we will hand her over to the police officials.” Spokesperson of the TMC, Sandeep Malwi, could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.