Lloyd estate wall collapse: BMC to appoint special body for structural audit of Wadala towers
Civic body has decided to approach IIT-Bombay or VJTI engineers to ascertain damage to buildings near the landslide spot, after residents' outrage
Following an outcry from the residents of Dosti Blossom and Dosti Daffodil, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to appoint IIT-Bombay or VJTI engineers for a structural audit of the buildings, to ascertain damage to them due to excavation on the adjoining Krishna Steel plot.
On Monday, a huge landslide at the neighbouring Lloyds Estate raised serious questions about the construction going on Krishna Steel plot, which is being developed by the builder Dosti Realty Ltd. After the accident, residents of Lloyds Estate, Dosti Blossom and Dosti Daffodil alleged that the builder was doing excess excavation at Krishna Steel plot and weak shore piling has been damaging their buildings for the past year. They also claimed no action was taken by BMC and the developer to avert a mishap.
Commissioner's approval needed
Speaking to mid-day, deputy chief engineer of the Building Proposal (BP) Department (city), R S Potdar said, "We have prepared a proposal to appoint experts like IIT-Bombay or VJTI for a structural audit of these buildings. Since we don't do structural audits of private buildings, we will have to take approval from the municipal commissioner. After that we will decide the further course of action." However, residents of Dosti Blossom said that they don't know anything about BMC's plan of appointing IIT-Bombay or VJTI experts. "We met officials from the building proposal department on Wednesday but there was no word about any such plan," said a resident.
'BMC harassed us'
Residents of Dosti Blossom and Dosti Daffodil buildings have alleged that last year when they raised an alarm over the sinking portions of their compound and cracks in their buildings due to excess excavation done at Krishna Steel plot, the BMC harassed them instead of taking action against builder. On Thursday, committee members of Dosti Blossom and Dosti Daffodil showed their letters to different civic departments regarding the dangerous condition of their buildings.
Manoj Gurav of Dosti Blossom said, "Last year after April we observed cracks on the building columns and sinking in the parking area which is adjoining the plot where excavation is going on. A huge portion of our parking area had sunk about a foot. Following this we had sent letters to the builder and the BMC to take action and make the premises safe." He added, "Instead of taking action against the builder, the F-North ward of the BMC sent us a letter, and held us liable for the damage done to the building. BMC officials told us to carry out a structural audit otherwise action would be initiated against us."
Writ petition by residents
The managing committee of Dosti Blossom filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court against the BMC, builder, structural consultant and architect on Thursday. It was heard on Friday and the judge has given a preliminary direction that an expert like IIT-Bombay should be appointed for the exact measures to be taken. The remedial measures should continue and the builder should not carry out any construction work. The matter is fixed for further hearing today.
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