Mumbai: After crash, tenants get structural engineer to check Nusser House

Updated: Jul 11, 2019, 09:06 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

BMC had said it must be demolished; when tenants insisted other part was in good condition, they were told to get structure surveyed

Apart from shops and offices, the building also has a guesthouse on the third and fourth floors. Pic /Atul Kamble
Apart from shops and offices, the building also has a guesthouse on the third and fourth floors. Pic /Atul Kamble

Days after a section of the 71-year-old Nusser House collapsed, its fate now rests on the findings of the structural consultant appointed by the tenants of the building. Located near the Royal Opera House in Charni Road, the building was first recognised as dilapidated, after Jugal Kishore Jain got a structural audit done in 2017 on his own, which indicated that it was decrepit, but could be repaired. The building is owned by the NM Vora Trust and Jain is one of the trustees.

People nearby said that the rear portion of the ground floor collapsed at around 9 am on July 8. "At around 8 pm, the whole section collapsed. We usually sit close to that building in our break. But thankfully, we weren't there then," said RN Mishra, a guard who works nearby.

Civic officials from D ward had rushed to evacuate the tenants and no one was injured. Apart from shops and offices, the building also has a guesthouse on the third and fourth floors.

'Other side in good condition'

Assistant Municipal Commissioner of D ward, Vishwas Mote, said that they had served a notice to the owner and tenants, saying the building is dangerous and should be demolished at the earliest. He said that the landlord is currently getting the unsafe portion demolished.

"The tenants, however, argued that the other side of the building was in good condition and didn't need to be demolished. Since it is a private building, the responsibility lies with the landlord and tenants. There is a dispute between them. So we asked the tenants to appoint a structural engineer to survey it," said Mote, adding that if the report submitted by the tenants' structural consultant, whom they appointed after the collapse states that the building can be repaired, they can move back.

Report said it was repairable

Mote said Jain submitted the structural audit report to the D ward office in 2017. "The audit had categorised the building as CII B which means that it is repairable. We had then issued a notice to him asking him to go ahead with the repairs as mentioned in the guidelines," said Mote.

Tenants said that they were in talks with their structural consultant and will have some clarity by Thursday. Despite several calls, Jain could not be reached for a comment.

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