Building collapse: Sewree cops take a cue from Mumbra probe

Oct 16, 2013, 06:58 IST | Vinay Dalvi

Officials seek help from the Crime Branch team that had conducted a thorough investigation into the Lucky Compound collapse in Mumbra

To ensure a thorough investigation in the Dockyard Road building collapse case, investigating officials from the Sewree police station are seeking the help of the Thane Crime Branch team that investigated the Mumbra building collapse case.

Tragic end: Rescue work in progress at the site where the five-storeyed BMC building collapsed in September. File pic

The Crime Branch team, which investigated the Lucky Compound collapse case, formed a Special Investigative Task Force (SITF) and arrested 23 people, and submitted a charge sheet of over 3,000 pages.

So far, Sewree police officials have arrested Ashok Mehta of Jain Decorators, Deputy Superintendent P C Chavan, Assistant Engineer Rahul Jadhav and Inspector Jamil Qazi of the BMC Market Department. A total of 61 people died after a five-storeyed building collapsed in the BMC colony near Babu Genu Market on September 27.

Seeking expert help
Thane Crime Branch DCP Praveen Pawar said, “We approached IIT Powai, Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee, Uttarakhand, an organisation with expertise in building research. It is even recognised by the central government. We even sought help from VJTI, PWD and senior officers of the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC).”

The Crime Branch team also suggested Sewree police to appoint Advocate Shishir Hire as the special public prosecutor because he has expertise in such cases.

So far, the Sewree police have already taken scientist from CBRI to the collapse site in Dockyard Road and sent samples to IIT Powai. “We have arrested four people and are in the process of making the charge sheet,” an officials from the Sewree police station said.  

What Thane cops did right
The Thane police touched every aspect while investigating their case, as to when was the building built, how deep were the pillars in the soil and was the depth enough to support a five-storeyed building, among others.

The officials also collected soil, cement and steel samples andsent them to forensic experts to understand their quality. The team also studied the blueprint of the building that was submitted to the TMC.

“Every report from the experts we approached is a part of our charge sheet. Only four people of the 23 accused we arrested have managed to get bail in the last four months.

Two accused even approached the Bombay High Court, but their bail plea was rejected. We wanted send a strong message among builders, so that nobody even thinks of constructing a building using such inferior quality raw materials so that it falls and claim innocent lives,” Pawar said. 

Number of people who lost their lives in the Dockyard Road building collapse 

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