Lloyd estate wall collapse: Our lives are at risk, but they just won't stop

Jun 27, 2018, 07:04 IST | Laxman Singh

Despite stop-work notice, developer restarts activity at cave-in site, claims only putting court's remedial measures

Lloyd estate wall collapse: Our lives are at risk, but they just won't stop
Several cars struck in debris after a wall collapsed at a construction site in Antop Hill, Wadala East area, in Mumbai on Monday, June 25, 2018. Pic/PTI

Being once bitten, twice shy does not work for Dosti Realty. The construction company, that has been blamed for causing Monday's cave-in at Wadala East, allegedly started work again on Tuesday morning, despite getting a stop work notice from the BMC. They only stopped after protests from angry residents of adjoining buildings.

Early on Tuesday, some of the residents saw movement happening in the under construction site. Following this, they gathered near Dosti Realty's project gate and began protesting, demanding the company to stop their work immediately. Seeing this, a manager from the Dosti Realty group came out and assured they would stop further activity.

"We got to know through media reports that the BMC has issued a stop work notice to builder. But today [Tuesday] we saw activity. A group of labourers were doing some work in the under construction floor, hiding behind the tarpaulin. Our lives are at risk, but they are just not ready to stop," said Harsh Badheka, a Lloyd Estate resident who was among the protesters.

Even more shocking was BMC's attitude. When some residents approached the local BMC Building Proposal department office, next to Dosti's ongoing project, to complaint about the work, the official present there denied issuing any notice.

Ashwin Deshmukh, another resident, said, "The officer present said they've not issued any stop work notice. While additional municipal commissioner Vijay Singhal said they'd issued one, the lower staff is denying it. It clearly shows how the staff is still helping the builder."

"There is a nexus between BMC's building proposal officer and the builder. The BMC office is just 200 metres away from the site, but despite multiple complaints from us, they took no action," alleged Deshmukh. Speaking to mid-day, RS Potdar, deputy chief engineer of the building proposal department (city) said, "We have issued a stop work notice to builder and only remedial work for the landslide portion is going on. There is no permission for any further work."

A spokesperson for Dosti Realty said, "We are carrying out the remedial measures as suggested by court commissioner Shantilal Jain. Accordingly, the work of backfilling and concretisation at the caved in portion is going on under the supervision of our consultants and engineers. Meanwhile, G B Yadav, chairman of Llyod Estate's housing society, told mid-day they've filed a fresh petition in the civic court, asking for interim order to stop the construction work completely.

Another one?
In the evening, a portion of the parking area caved in once again. The construction workers were trying to fill the eroded area with a cement-concrete mixture to stop further erosion, however, another portion went down. The Dosti spokesperson said, "Pictures and videos are being circulated in some media and on WhatsApp about another land slide at the same site today at 3.45 pm, but they're not true. On account of natural slope and gravity, a certain amount of backfilling is resettling, which is normal and part of the process."

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