Mahad building crash: What about us, ask other tenants

Updated: 04 September, 2020 08:21 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

They want compensation as they too lost everything; and like other residents of Tarique Garden they want single window system for duplicate documents

Tenants of Tarique Garden at the spot where it stood
Tenants of Tarique Garden at the spot where it stood

The residents of Tarique Garden — which collapsed on August 25 killing 16 people and injuring nine in Mahad — lost everything in the collapse. But while flat owners could get compensation from the government, the overlooked other residents, the tenants, who have also lost their belongings, valuables and documents in the collapse, will get nothing.

Local political leaders have announced that they will try to seek special cabinet permission for at least R3 lakh compensation to flat owners. According to a resident of the ill-fated building, "Out of 40 flats nearly 27 were occupied by tenants. Unfortunately, people have lost lives and some are injured. But no one is talking or bothered about the tenants' future."

'We have nothing left'

"My mother Farida, 52, wife Afreen, 26, and two children Azhar, 5, and Ziyan, 2, are alive, only because of Naveed Duste. Most of the residents are also alive only because of Naveed," said Samir Pore, 31, who was staying in a rented flat since July 2018.

"Other than the clothes we were wearing, we have nothing left. Our utensils, documents, gold ornaments, cash around R55,000, everything has gone. All our government identity cards such as PAN card, Aadhaar card, other important documents, everything is lost. Where do we go now, from here? We should not be ignored, we should also get compensation," said Samir, who paid R8,000 as monthly rent.

Irfan Joglikar, 52, was a tenant for the past two months. He and his family were fortunate to survive.

A driver with a petroleum company, Irfan, lost his job few months ago. "I paid R8,000 as rent. The money was the only source of income for the old widow, the owner of the flat, who has lost everything in the crash. I have lost all my belongings, along with gold and cash, which I had kept for my daughter's wedding. But I have to be strong. We need compensation," he said.

The troubles go on

While some of the tenants and flat owners have moved in with relatives, or friends, around eight families were given temporary accommodation in a nearby municipal council-owned premises.

But their troubles continue. One family, who tried to get a cooking gas connection for the temporary address, was forced to run from pillar-to-post, as the supplier, insisted a new gas connection should be taken, as he could not deliver on the basis of the old address (Tarique Garden) as it doesn't exist.

Samir Pore, a tenant/
Samir Pore, a tenant

Samir added, "We have just got the panchnama copy from the police station, stating that with all our new applications seeking duplicate documents and fresh cylinder connections, the copy of the panchanama can be attached, and the process could begin. Instead of making us run from pillar-to-post, it would have been better had the district administration started a single window system within the Mahad revenue office or Municipal Council building, for us affected residents."

The other side

Government officials informed mid-day that building collapses do not come under the purview of natural calamity. These are accidents which are private in nature, so there are very little chances that those who were staying in Tarqiue Garden, would get compensated.

The residents want the district administration to provide a single window system to apply for duplicate documents. Nidhi Choudhary, district collector Raigad, said about the same, "The needful can be done, and the same will be discussed with concerned revenue officials."

She has appealed to people to come forward to contribute in the district relief fund till September 15 and the proceeds from it will be given to the occupants of Tarique Garden.

Expert speak

Advocate Vinod Sampat, founder president of Cooperative Society Residents' Association said, "One should not forget the fact that the tenant has paid security deposit as well as rent to the landlord. It is incorrect on the part of the government to discriminate between the tenant and flat owner. The building has crashed because of the inefficiency of government officials and the builder. In my view tenants are also fairly entitled for compensation."

Also Read: Mahad building crash: Community to take construction work in own hands

Residents unable to sleep

Many of the survivors are going through post traumatic disorder symptoms, with nightmares, etc. Samir said he has been unable to sleep. "I go to bed but suddenly I wake up, fearing the building is shaking or that it will collapse," he said. Dr Vishal Sawant, consulting psychiatrist, said, "The residents might have been going through psychological distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the collapse added to further traumatic experiences, which need to be taken care of."

He added, "The local district administration should organise a psychological screening camp for the residents. The possibility of pathological anxiety or depressive or post-traumatic stress disorder, cannot be ruled out. And especially for those who have lost their loved ones, there should be mandatory grief counselling."

Want to donate?

Disaster Response Fund, Raigad, A/c No – 38222872300
State Bank of India
IFSC Code- SBIN0000308

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First Published: 04 September, 2020 07:30 IST

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