It’s now been almost a year since the dilapidated 100-year-old Shinde Wada in Kasba Peth came crumbling down, killing 17-year-old Vaishnavi Patange and her 75-year-old grandmother Sudha, who resided in the adjoining Pataskar Wada. But the pain of losing his mother and daughter is still fresh in Avinash Patange’s mind. And despite the tragic incident, the tailor has no option but to keep living in the same place, with his surviving family members.
CARRYING ON: Avinash Patange still lives in the house where he lost his daughter Vaishnavi and his mother Sudha. Pic/Mohan Patil
“For the last 18 years, I have been living in Pataskar Wada on rent. After the incident, I was advised by many not to stay here, and to move out immediately. But being the only bread-winner of my family, I just cannot afford to purchase a new home,” Patange said to mid-day.
Till the day of the mishap, the Patange family occupied three rooms in Pataskar Wada. In the wee hours of June 19, last year, however, one of the rooms in the upper floor caved in. “I still remember that night. At around 3 am, the wall of Shinde Wada collapsed on my house, and my daughter and mother, who were in kitchen, were stuck in the debris.
I remember that just a week before the incident, the PMC had warned the builder, who was going to initiate redevelopment work of Shinde Wada, to immediately clear the structure. If that had been done in time, my mother and daughter would have been with me today,” Patange said.
Patange has not received any compensation, either from PMC or from the owner-builder of Shinde Wada. “I even approached the Kasba Peth MLA Girish Bapat, requesting him for financial aide. Bapat promised funds for me from the government, but the promise remains unfulfilled,” Patange said.
Patange spent R4.5 lakh last year for reconstruction. Faced with apathy, he had sought legal advice and served notices for compensation to the builder and owner of Shinde Wada. “Till date, they have not answered my notices. I am soon going to file a case against the duo,” he added.
Meanwhile, after almost a year since the incident, the Faraskhana Police have finally filed a case against the builder Shirish Amrutlal Chudasama, under section 304A and 427 of IPC. The FIR accuses him of not demolishing the dilapidated third and fourth floors of Shinde Wada. Asked why the still hadn’t filed a case against the builder, V B Jadhav, assistant police inspector of Faraskhana police station, said, “Initially, we had registered a case of accidental death. But our investigations in the case revealed that the builder is responsible for the accident. He will soon face arrest.” MLA Girish Bapat was unavailable for comment.