Building crash victims must be treated sensitively

Updated: Sep 26, 2019, 07:28 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

It is criminal and shameful that repair work should be done in this way. This calls for investigation about what exactly went wrong

Bank employees paste a closure notice issued by the RBI on a wall of Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank building, at Fort. Pic/PTI
Bank employees paste a closure notice issued by the RBI on a wall of Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank building, at Fort. Pic/PTI

It was a dark Tuesday for Mumbai. Depositors and account holders of a co-operative bank were reeling in shock after a bank had 'directions' put on it by the RBI. This meant their money is stuck in the bank and they will only be able to withdraw R1,000 in six months.

Even as this news broke in the morning, we learnt about a portion of a ground-plus-five storey residential building collapsing on Tuesday afternoon near Khar Gymkhana, killing a 10 year-old girl and injuring two others. Some columns in the parking section on the ground floor of this building were undergoing some repair work for the last few days, reports state.

It is criminal and shameful that repair work should be done in this way. This calls for investigation about what exactly went wrong.

We cannot have the familiar pattern where people who are not connected with decisions made about the building are conveniently arrested and locked up to assuage anger. We need to have answers and more importantly, an in-depth analysis about what happened and why this took place.

There are so many buildings in a similar state in Mumbai. These are relatively small, older buildings in the city which may all need repair and upgradation or a complete revamp. If we continue making mistakes and not learning from other building collapses, forming 'committees' and 'investigations' are cosmetic measures at best.

Now authorities will have to be cautious about how people try to access the building to get their belongings. There will have to be clarity on what happens to the structure. The residents will try to enter at least to retrieve belongings, which should be guarded and kept safe. The post collapse decisions and aftermath is going to be vital. Residents cannot be further traumatised.

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