After the tragedy at Altaf Mansion, Mahim, and the evacuation of a building at Borivli because of cracks on the structure, a portion of another building at Malad came crashing down on June 12.
A portion of Ruturaj Society at Liberty Garden, Malad, collapsed on Wednesday owing to the rains. The 50-year-old building had never undergone repair work and was declared dilapidated by the BMC. All 27 flats in the building have been evacuated.
The tenants are in distress, as they have nowhere else to go. Among the 27 families, 15 are living with relatives. Only five to six tenants have managed to find a place of their own for themselves.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had arrived on the spot within an hour of the incident. The corporation had given a day’s time to the tenants to evacuate the building and began demolishing the portion that was still standing yesterday.
The landlord of the building has been in hiding all these days. He has completely disconnected himself from the tenants and the BMC cannot reach him too. Rajesh Vora, a resident of the building who has no relative in the city, said, “I am worried and am not able to think calmly as to what should be my next step.” He has two kids a son in Class XII and a daughter in Class X. “This situation is affecting their studies,” added Vora.
Vora, a salesman by profession, earns around Rs 10,000 per month. “In this situation it is not possible I cannot even afford a flat for Rs 6,000. I am currently staying with a friend and am afraid that I will not be able to feed my family after paying rent.”
Another tenant Nilesh Mistry said, “The landlord has betrayed us. We have been calling him since the incident took place but his phone is constantly switched off. He is not taking any responsibility and has been careless about the maintenance of the building from the start.”
DV Maskaria, acting secretary of the society, said, “We have lodged a complaint against the landlord at the Malad police station. It is because of him that we have to face this situation. Many tenants are in tears. We all have been staying here for over forty years now and have no alternate home.”
While speaking to MiD DAY, Dhamapal Waghmare, junior engineer from the BMC, said, “We had given the tenants notice on May 13, 2013 and declared the building dilapidated but they did not evacuate the place due to issues with the landlord. However, we evacuated the place immediately to avoid any untoward incident. We will demolish the building soon.”