8 years after a structural audit declared the building past repair, residents continue to live there without redevelopment
Yet another ceiling collapsed in the city on Thursday, in a derelict building at Bandra (West). While no one was injured, the residents of Corner View building are alarmed by what was the third collapse this month in the building.
The bedroom ceiling in Balwant Kaur Arora’s flat had collapsed in the wee hours of the morning on Monday. Three days later, the ceiling in another flat collapsed in the same building. Pics/Emmanual Karbhari
Balwant Kaur Arora
Chirag Bhandari (28) and his wife had been living on rent at flat number 16 for the past eight months. Around 4 pm on Thursday, he stepped out of the bedroom when his wife called him for tea. It was right then that the ceiling in the bedroom collapsed. “Fortunately, my wife had called me out at that moment and saved me.
I could have been injured had I been in the bedroom then,” said Bhandari, adding, “The building has become very old and the columns have been bloated too, which is more scary.” He has already informed the flat’s owner that he intends to move out by next week.
Around 20 days ago, a similar collapse had forced tenants to move out of flat number 7 to find a safer home for their children. And just three days earlier, another bedroom ceiling had collapsed in flat number 2. Around 3.30 am on Monday, 69-year-old Balwant Kaur Arora woke up when she felt something hit her head.
She went out of the bedroom to check herself for injuries, when the room’s ceiling fell. While Balwant escaped a major injury, she had to be admitted to the hospital for two days to treat wounds on her head and hands. Unlike the other victims, Balwant and her husband cannot leave the flat quite as easily because they own it. They are currently using the one other bedroom in the flat.
The collapses have come eight years after a structural audit by Dargalkar Associates in 2006 found the building’s condition past repair, and recommended redevelopment. The building’s society failed to submit the report to the BMC.
However, the thirty-five members were asked to sign an undertaking for the redevelopment project. The process came to a stop when one of the members asked for an interim financial assurance while the flats underwent redevelopment.
The 47-year-old building has had several repairs to fix bloated columns and beams in the building, including a repair just six months ago. However, bloating has begun again, and now major cracks have also appeared.
“Looking at the condition of the flats in the society, and experiencing such incidents of ceiling collapse, there is a situation of panic amongst all the members and we all are willing to undergo redevelopment as soon as possible,” said Vishal Sharma, a resident living there for the past 43 years.