Malad wall collapse victims got no warning from BMC, say report

Updated: Jul 11, 2019, 09:05 IST | A Correspondent | Mumbai

Independent experts also point to faulty wall construction, and red-flag BMC's destruction of evidence by bringing down remaining portions of wall a day later

Parts of the retaining wall were pulled down by the civic body the next day
Parts of the retaining wall were pulled down by the civic body the next day

A week after the Malad wall collapse, experts and local activists have come out with a report claiming that the faulty construction, delayed rehabilitation and failure of disaster management cell to inform locals about clogged water together led to the mishap. The death toll in the incident went up to 29 on Wednesday with Prathmesh Bane, admitted at KEM hospital, being declared dead on Tuesday night.

Around 12.30 am on July 2, a retaining wall of the BMC's Malad reservoir collapsed on the slums of Pimpripada and Ambedkar Nagar at Kurar, Malad East. The report prepared by independent experts, representing NGOs, highlights the delayed rehabilitation of the locals, pending since 1999.

Failure of the BMC's disaster management cell in warning people of the approaching danger has also been mentioned. The report, to be submitted to BMC, suggests measures the state government and BMC can now take for the rehabilitation of the affected people.

The BMC too has appointed an expert panel to investigate the cause of wall collapse and the BMC's internal preliminary report has stated heavy rainfall and clogged drains as the primary reasons of collapse.

No ill intent?

Experts have also alleged that the BMC attempted to destroy evidence by demolishing the remaining portions of the wall to hide lapses, if any, found on its part. Jamshed Sukhadwala, a structural engineer, said, "The portion of the retaining wall should have been kept unaffected for a detailed investigation by a technical experts committee probing the incident. This was clearly not the intent."

A senior civic official, however, said, there was no intent of destroying evidence and "the pieces of the wall are being inspected by the expert panel."

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