Furious residents say construction in adjacent plot hampered their building, finally leading to safety wall’s collapse six months ago
Residents of Meghdoot building had a meeting regarding compensation from the builder of the new construction on Thursday
- Collapse of their building’s underground water tank has forced 51 families out of homes
- The incident occurred on Wednesday evening
- Residents claimed that despite making complaints, no remedial action was initiated
The collapse of their building’s underground water tank has forced 51 families residing in Meghdoot building at Nehru Nagar in Kurla, out of their homes. The incident occurred on Wednesday evening when work on the plinth of an adjoining building was on. Residents claimed that despite making complaints around six months ago regarding the problems caused by the construction nearby, no remedial action was initiated by the authorities.
After the collapse of the water tank, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) evacuated the Meghdoot building as a safety measure. The residents have decided to demand compensation from the builder of the adjoining building for the time they will have to spend outside their homes.
The caved-in portion in front of the Meghdoot building at Nehru Nagar, Kurla. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar
Pravina Morajkar, a resident of the Meghdoot building, told mid-day, “A few senior citizens from our building and I have shifted to my relative’s place. We felt vibrations in our building as the construction progressed nearby. We have been raising this issue for a few months. We filed a complaint with the BMC and MHADA but no action was taken.” A former corporator, Morajkar added, “Had the authorities acted on our complaints, we wouldn't have had to vacate our homes.”
After the collapse of the water tanker, the residents also submitted a complaint to the Nehru Nagar police on Wednesday evening. Resident Sunil Shah, who witnessed the water tank’s collapse, said, “Six months ago, our safety wall collapsed due to that building’s construction. We saw cracks on the ground level of our building on Wednesday morning. We told this to the engineers working on the adjacent site, but they did not take any action. Finally, our water tank collapsed around 4 pm.”
“We heard a very loud noise in the evening. I couldn’t understand what happened. Later, I found out that the water tank had collapsed. We came out of the building as soon as possible. I live with my husband and son. Yesterday, we shifted to a relative’s place in Nehru Nagar,” said Asha Mali. Seema Pabalkar, who resides with her son and bedridden mother-in-law, said, “The noise was horrible. We were dumbstruck. Our neighbours told us to come out of the building. We brought my mother-in-law out in a wheelchair.”
Compensation from builder
Pushparaj Dutta, who resides with his wife, child and another family member, said, “We have been facing problems ever since the construction began. The work starts early in the morning and continues till midnight. We are fed up with this. We filed complaints with all authorities but no one is helping us. I have shifted with my family to Chembur. We residents met on Thursday morning and decided to demand compensation from the builder of the new construction. We have no idea when we will be able to return home.”
Resident Vikas Karande, who resides with eight family members, said, “We moved to a relative’s place on Wednesday night but we can’t stay there for long. We want compensation from the builder.” The entity undertaking the construction has been identified as Raghav. During a visit by mid-day to the construction site, the staff present refused to provide the contact of the builder or engineer.
Study by RCC consultant
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) has asked the builder to fill the plinth with soil as a safety precaution. MHADA executive engineer P D Dhatrak told mid-day, “We will issue a notice to the builder and demand an explanation about the incident. We will also take advice from experts about the incident. An expert RCC consultant will study the situation of Meghdoot building. Based on the report, we will decide whether the building is suitable to live in.” Asked about residents’ claims about the lack of action, Dhatrak said he would have to check the records.
Time on Wednesday underground tanker collapsed