Mumbai: Action against society members likely in Khar building collapse

Updated: Sep 26, 2019, 07:22 IST | Arita Sarkar |

Committee members of the building were carrying out structural repair work on the stilts in the parking area without required permission; the contractor was arrested

Residents of Bhole Apartments look for their belongings that were brought out of homes on Wednesday. Pics/Shadab Khan
Residents of Bhole Apartments look for their belongings that were brought out of homes on Wednesday. Pics/Shadab Khan

A day after a portion of Bhole Apartment at Khar collapsed on Tuesday, civic officials revealed that society committee members of the building were carrying out structural repair work on the stilts in the parking area, without required permission. Civic officials from H West ward started demolishing one of the three wings that had partially collapsed on Wednesday and said that they are planning to write to the Khar police asking them to initiate criminal action against the committee members of the building.

'BMC permission not taken'

As per the civic body's records, the five-storeyed building was constructed in 1976 and has three wings with 20 flats. Civic officials said that the contractor might have damaged a column while carrying out the repair work on the stilts in the parking area. "We came to know that the committee had appointed a contractor to do some plastering and repair work of the stilts. They didn't take any permission from the BMC which is required before carrying out structural repairs," said a senior civic official from H West.

Residents of Bhole Apartments look for their belongings that were brought out of homes on Wednesday

Civic officials appointed a structural auditor on Wednesday and a contractor who started demolishing the part of the building that had detached from the other two wings. Residents of the other two wings, however, were concerned about their belongings and demanded that they be allowed to collect them. "The building is in a dangerous condition. We have made markings on both the wings. We will observe the remaining structure for a few days and if it doesn't sink beyond the markings then we can consider allowing people inside," said the civic official.

Contractor arrested

The official added that on Tuesday night the contractor, 45-year-old Ranjeet Narayan Sawant was arrested by the Khar police on charges of death by negligence. The collapse claimed the life of Mahi Motwani, a 10-year-old girl and left two other people injured. Assistant Municipal Commissioner Sharad Ugade said that the society had conducted a structural audit in 2016 but did not submit the report to the civic body. "We have directed the society to submit their audit report and have appointed a consultant to carry out another structural audit of the rest of the building. We will evaluate the reports and then approach the Khar police to carry out an investigation against the committee members," said Ugade.

1976
When the building was constructed

Also Read: Khar building collapse: I came out and a portion of building just collapsed, says eye-witness

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