Mumbai: Khar building needed repairs, but society did not act, says BMC

Updated: Sep 27, 2019, 07:32 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

Officials say residents of Bhole Apartments told the BMC that a structural audit had found the building to be in need of major repairs

A portion of the five-storey building collapsed on September 24, killing a 10-year-old girl.  Pic/Shadab Khan
A portion of the five-storey building collapsed on September 24, killing a 10-year-old girl. Pic/Shadab Khan

Ignoring a structural report that recommended major repairs last year has cost residents of Bhole Apartments their homes. Civic officials said the society's committee members neither carried out repairs nor submitted structural audit report to them.

The report of the civic body-appointed structural engineer on the remaining two wings of Bhole Apartment in Khar is still awaited.

Civic officials from H West ward said that residents of Bhole Apartment told the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) that the structural audit report had found the building was in need of major repairs. "The residents said that the report had categorised the building as C2(A) which means that the structure would need to be evacuated and repaired. However, we are still waiting for the committee members to submit the structural audit report," said a civic official. He added that if the society had submitted the report to the BMC, officials could have sent them a reminder to carry out the necessary repairs.

Khar
The BMC began demolition of part of Bhole Apartment on Wednesday. Pic/Sneha Kharabe

BMC to write to cops

The civic body had appointed a consultant on Wednesday to conduct an independent structural audit of the remaining two wings. "They have conducted site visits and will carry out chemical tests. The new report is expected in two days after which we will evaluate both the structural audit reports before writing to the Khar police to initiate legal action against the committee members," said the official. Neeraj Mehra, the secretary of the building, was unavailable for comment. 

The demolition process on the building, that started on Wednesday is progressing at a slow pace, and is expected to take another couple of days since the residents need time to sift through their belongings.

"Earlier we had planned to demolish floor-by-floor starting from the top. However, we are now demolishing one side of the building starting with the bedrooms on all floors. The residents are picking up their valuables from the debris which is taking some time," said another official. 

The incident

Khar Residents
Residents wait to collect their belongings. Pic/Shadab Khan

On September 24, a portion of the five-storeyed building collapsed claiming the life of Mahi Motwani, a 10-year-old girl, and left two others injured. While the cause of the collapse is yet to be ascertained, civic officials said the society had appointed a contractor to carry out repairs of the stilts in the parking area below the building. The contractor, 45-year-old Ranjeet Narayan Sawant, was arrested by Khar police the same day on charges of death by negligence, and an investigation is underway. Despite several calls and messages, Sharad Ugade, assistant municipal commissioner of H West, could not be reached for a comment. 

1976
Year the building was constructed

Also Read: Mumbai: Action against society members likely in Khar building collapse

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