Crack in ceiling gives couple sleepless nights

Published: 18 November, 2011 07:29 IST | Varun Singh |

Senior citizens allege that though they have requested the society to repair their ceiling, no action has been taken for two months

Senior citizens allege that though they have requested the society to repair their ceiling, no action has been taken for two months

What can be termed as a disaster waiting to happen, an elderly couple living in Colaba is living under the shadow of an impending disaster.

In Shambles: The couple cannot go to the balcony of their flat as the
ceiling is in a dilapidated state.
Pic/Bipin Kokate

The ceiling of their bedroom has cracked and their constant pleas to the society members to repair the roof have fallen on deaf ears. The society, meanwhile, has provided temporary relief by installing bamboos to support the ceiling. The risk of collapse, however, still lingers. 

The couple, both over 60 years of age, stays on the sixth floor of Atur building society and out of fear for their lives do not dare to step into their balcony.

According to the couple, about two months ago the society had commenced renovation work in the building and on inspecting their room; they noticed a crack in the roof. As the flat above is vacant and the occupants live abroad, members of the society provided short-term relief by supporting the roof with bamboos.

"For the last two months we have been requesting the society members to fasten the work and open the doors of the upper floor so that they can repair our roof. But they haven't done it, they are putting our lives at risk by not taking any quick action," said the couple.

The society agrees that work hasn't been done yet, but claims that the renovation will be done by next week.

Sridhar Sharma, founder of Revathi Memorial, an NGO that deals in housing matters, said, "Model By-Law gives the protection to the member from any endangerment and also gives rights to the society committee people for inspection of any flat. If the member [locked floor resident] doesn't cooperate then the committee can go to the police and BMC and then approach the registrar and open the premises. However, for doing this, the managing committee needs to give the concerned member adequate notice.

The other side
Anil Chandiramani, the secretary of the housing society, said, "We are waiting for the person residing at the upper floor to return. They said they would be back by next week and we will start the repair once we have access to their flat. We can't barge into anyone's house in his or her absence. We have assessed the damage and have made provisions to the flat by supporting the roof with bamboos."

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