In the last two months, Mumbai and its neighbourhood have seen three major building collapses. In April, 74 people died in Mumbra (Thane) in one of the worst building collapses in recent times. Earlier this month, a prominent building in Mahim fell, killing 10 people. Last morning, another building collapsed in Mumbra, where the toll has touched 10. In two months, nearly 100 people have died. Needlessly.
All three accidents were man-made and could have been avoided had the local corporators and the municipal babus paid attention to rules rather than warming their wallets.
In these two months, no corporator in two of the richest municipalities in the country --Mumbai and Thane -- felt the need to bring up the issues in session, nor felt the need to strengthen the rules that govern oversight of buildings. Not a single corporator felt the need to bring to light the dilapidated and illegal buildings in their constituency, or demand the strictest punishment for those responsible for the deaths. No corporator has any idea of dilapidated or illegal buildings in their area. Why, even the municipal commissioner of Thane did not know if the latest building collapse was due to illegal construction or dilapidation.
Our corporators are the first in queue to bring up frivolous issues like mannequins wearing lingerie, or bickering for a memorial for Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, renaming Malabar Hill to Ram Nagari.
Since our local representatives have selective amnesia about issues that plague the city, here are a few to refresh their memories: potholed roads, choked drainage, a broken municipal education system, water supply, and indiscriminate development. It is time they woke to reality and got to the business of what they were elected for -- to serve the city.
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