Mumbai: Lecture hall ceiling falls; IIT-B says 'no worries'

Updated: Sep 27, 2019, 07:42 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

Students highlight need for more frequent audit of buildings on campus to avoid such potentially dangerous incidents

No one was injured when pieces of false ceiling fell off on Monday
No one was injured when pieces of false ceiling fell off on Monday

Parts of the false inclined ceiling in an academic wing of the IIT Bombay fell off on Monday. Though no one was injured as the area was empty when the incident took place, it triggered concerns of safety among the students.

Allaying fears, the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay administration said it was a one-off incident caused by heavy rain this year. The incident took place on the second floor of the building housing lecture halls, which has now been shut for repair work.

Insight, the student media publishing body of IIT-B, listed in an article a couple of reasons that led to the partial collapse of the false ceiling.

"The problem can be attributed to a lack of air-circulation on the second floor. Also, a layer of fungi had formed on the gypsum tiles of the ceiling. Although the possibility of further damage to the building has been ruled out, the tentative plan is to test the structural stability of the entire section and replace the damaged gypsum tiles. The students are urged to report any structural deformations they notice anywhere on the campus to the institute management," the Insight report stated.
A few students on the campus have, however, highlighted the need for more frequent inspection of the buildings. "The institute has a reputation for conducting structural audit for buildings elsewhere in the city. It should be done periodically inside the campus too, especially during monsoon," said a student on condition of anonymity.

The suggestion was seconded by another student, who said, "It wasn't a major incident but even that could have been avoided if inspections are more frequent."

The IIT-B spokesperson said, "It was a minor false ceiling crack incident. Due to heavy monsoon this year, there were leakages which led to cracks in the ceiling. Repair-work is underway and the area is restricted for students' use until it's safe for use again. There is no issue with the overall structure at all."

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