Mumbai: Leaky roof, weak walls haunt residents of shoddy SRA building in Chembur

Updated: Nov 22, 2019, 07:33 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

They are scared after 10-year-old dies after cement block fell on her

The under-construction SRA building in Panchsheel Nagar, Chembur, which people have already occupied
The under-construction SRA building in Panchsheel Nagar, Chembur, which people have already occupied

While there has been no arrest in connection with the death of the 10-year-old girl who died on Tuesday after a fatal accident at Panchsheel Nagar's SRA building, the residents of the shoddy housing complex live in constant fear for their lives.

Endless fights

The fight for their rights and lives seems unending for the residents of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) building at Panchsheel Nagar, Chembur. First they battled for an adequate space for their flats, and now they are fighting for a safer home. They waited seven years to get possession of the flats, but were shocked to find them in a shabby condition.

Some residents claim to have cheated death in the past, but a 10-year-old girl's death on the premises recently has left them all scared even more.

Not the first accident

On Tuesday, Pratibha Shingare succumbed to the injuries she sustained when a huge cement block crashed on her head on Monday. "A month ago, when we were sitting in a pandal to protest against the builder, a similar cement block came crashing on us," Ankush Kharat, a resident, said.

Several flats in the 17-floor SRA building was handed over to the citizens with a partial occupancy certificate (OC). "Ceiling in my house is always leaking. I had reported this within a few months into taking possession of my flat. But nothing has been done; builder turns a blind eye to our grievances," said Surekha Jagtap.
Not just a leaking roof, poor lift maintenance and repeated incidents of construction materials falling off on the premises have proved to be a nightmare for them all, said Jagtap, who lives on the sixth floor.

Weak, leaky walls

Another resident, Ratan Magare who lives on the seventh floor, laments about the poor condition of the entire building. "The walls of the building are very weak and leakage has become common in our home now," he adds.

It is not just the flat owners in the SRA building who are suffering, several others who were denied flats despite being eligible for one are fighting legal battles against Arihant Realtors.

Santosh Sanjakr, representative of the building. In approached us of developing land under Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) Scheme" he adds.

Surekha Jagtap points to the damaged ceiling caused due to leakage in her flat. Pics/Rajesh GuptaSurekha Jagtap points to the damaged ceiling caused due to leakage in her flat. Pics/Rajesh Gupta

"In 2009, when Arihant Realtors approached us to develop our land under SRA, 870 families were declared as eligible for scheme benefits. But to our shock, only 560 families were allotted the flats. Rest are still fighting," said advocate Santosh Sanjakr. He added, "The builder has delivered small and substandard housing." Arihant Realtors and Ashapura Developers, the two companies building a tower on the premises, did not comment despite assurances of a response.

No arrest yet

The Tilak Nagar police station where a FIR has been filed against the two firms following the death of Shingare has sought documents from the SRA. "We have sought documents from SRA authorities about the building and verification is going on. We will make arrests once responsibility is fixed," Senior Inspector Sushil Kamble said.

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