Mumbai: Did BMC contractor's shoddy work lead to wall collapse in Malad?
Despite repeated attempts, Darade, chief hydraulic engineer Ashok Tawadia and Municipal Commissioner Pravin Pardeshi remained unavailable for comment
Residents and officials present at Ambedkar Nagar and Pimpripada in Kurar village blamed the wall collapse on shoddy work done by a contractor appointed by the BMC's hydraulic engineering department.
The boundary wall was constructed around three years ago to divide the forest land and the BMC water reservoir area. Priti Suryavanshi, a local, said, "We think that BMC has failed to construct a proper boundary wall and as its foundation was not up to the mark, it led to collapse. Also, they should have left bigger holes in the wall so that water coming from the hillocks does not accumulate on the other side of the wall. The BMC-appointed contractor left small holes in the wall which could not flush out the water."
Officials involved with the rescue operations agreed with the locals and pointed out that the foundation was not deep enough to hold the weight of the 15 to 20 ft high RCC wall.
An official from the hydraulic department said, "This [collapse] occurred due to a landslide as around 300 mm rainfall took place in that area in just four hours. Also, a cavity had formed in some spots, causing the foundation of these walls to weaken a little, as per prima facie observations. While we see this as more of a natural calamity, we are not eliminating any shoddy work claims and thus, experts from IIT-B or VJTI will be called to survey the spot. The contractor will be given a show cause notice by Wednesday."
Structural auditors visited the site on Tuesday morning to identify whether the remaining boundary wall was in good shape. While the officials did not reveal their findings, the police officials at the spot claimed the structure was weak. Meanwhile, BMC has initiated an inquiry into this incident. Additional commissioner Pravin Darade has also instructed other contractors who have built such retaining walls to provide their structural stability certificate to BMC. Despite repeated attempts, Darade, chief hydraulic engineer Ashok Tawadia and Municipal Commissioner Pravin Pardeshi remained unavailable for comment.
Inputs by Ranjeet Jadhav
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