Bhiwandi building collapse: Poor tenants should be provided transit accommodation
Local politicos and residents say mishaps will keep happening in Bhiwandi unless civic body takes urgent measures for rehabilitation
A three-storey building, Sayyed Jilani, in Bhiwandi collapsed in the wee hours of Monday, killing 13 people, including seven children, and injuring 20.
Rescue operations were on at the time of going to press and were expected to continue till Tuesday as many were feared trapped under the debris. Rainfall that started late in the afternoon became a hindrance too.
Onlookers observe the rescue work
Around 3.30 am, half of the nearly 40-year-old building in Patel Compound collapsed. As the electricity snapped, residents were not able to understand what exactly happened.
Others from the area rushed to the residents' help. Soon, the Fire Brigade, teams from Bhiwandi Nizampur City Municipal Corporation and Thane Disaster Management teams reached the spot.
Rescuers bring out a woman trapped under the debris. Pics/Sameer Markande
The building being located in narrow lanes posed a challenge during the rescue operation. Onlookers also led to hindrances. Sniffer dogs of the NDRF, Uday and Sheru, were helpful in pointing at spots where people could be alive.
Bhiwandi MLA Rais Shaikh was overseeing the operations. “A thorough, urgent investigation will be needed to find out how this incident happened. Strict action should be taken against those responsible for preventing such incidents.”
'Protect poor tenants'
Shaikh said that poor tenants in Bhiwandi should be protected and provided with transit accommodation, just the way it is done in Mumbai. “Due to lack of money and unavailability of transit accommodation, such poor tenants are forced to live in unsafe buildings despite notices. Which is why we need tenant-friendly provisions. Old and dilapidated buildings need to be redeveloped under the Cluster Development and Regularisation policy immediately. The government cannot ignore this any more,” Cabinet minister Eknath Shinde and Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative council, Pravin Darekar, visited the spot. Darekar said, “The state government must provide immediate assistance to the affected families and prepare an action plan for such dilapidated buildings. Other buildings in the area should be audited too.”
Officials said an FIR has also been filed against the owner of the building for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Rescuers will continue to look for trapped people.
No. of children among the dead
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