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Mumbai: Tin shed collapse at SRA building claims lives of father and son

Updated on: 11 June,2024 06:55 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Eshan Kalyanikar |

Family blames builder for unsafe construction practices

Mumbai: Tin shed collapse at SRA building claims lives of father and son

Site of the mishap

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Mumbai: Tin shed collapse at SRA building claims lives of father and son

On Sunday, as heavy rain started disrupting life in the city, a 10-year-old boy and his 38-year-old father, who worked as a security guard at a Slum Rehabilitation Authority, (SRA) building in Vikhroli West, lost their lives after the tin shed they were taking shelter under collapsed.

For the last five years, Nagesh Reddy worked as a security guard from 8 am to 8 pm for the under-construction commercial complex of Nagraj SRA Society at Kailash Business Park in the area. His son, Rohit, used to visit him at work every evening with a tiffin box. The family lived in the informal settlement just opposite the building. "Both used to be together for some time and then Rohit would come back," said Padma, Nagesh's wife.

This SRA project began about 12 years ago, with the commercial component and the housing component standing side by side. Families were evicted from the land where the buildings now stand and 110 of them, including the Reddy family, were promised a house. Both the commercial and housing buildings are 21-storey, of which only five floors of the former are complete while 14 of the latter have been constructed.

Nagesh Reddy, the father (right) Rohit Reddy, the son
Nagesh Reddy, the father (right) Rohit Reddy, the son

On Sunday, at around 10 pm, the father-son duo were pulled out from under a pile of  the tin shed, concrete, and iron rods by their relatives and neighbours. Prabhakar, Nagesh's brother, said that the shed that collapsed was connected to the building and not a separate structure. "Overall, there's a lack of safety in the construction process. Slab-like structures were falling on the tin shed, and iron rods were kept on it. It couldn't handle the weight and collapsed due to the heavy rains," said Prabhakar.

He was the one who took out the bodies and rushed to Rajawadi Hospital using another one of their older brother's rickshaw, where the father and the son were declared dead. "Approximately 100 people were helping, but the fire brigade arrived late," said Prabhakar.

"The developer had constructed a safety platform so that if something falls from above, it will be rested on the tin sheet. It is perpendicular to the building wall. We are yet to ascertain the reason why it collapsed. We have already initiated a stop work notice to the builder and informed the police to investigate," said SRA executive engineer Milind Wani.

The society secretary, Arun Chikhale, said, “There was some plaster of Paris (POP) that had fallen on the tin. "We have written multiple letters to the builder regarding safety and they are responsive to our grievances. This was an unfortunate incident," he said. One of the three builders, known as Munna Sheikh in the area, said, "I was not in the country when the incident happened. But there was nothing on the tin shed." 

The family still has not taken the bodies, awaiting Padma's father to arrive in Mumbai from Telangana. They said they would be taking police action against the builder. "I wanted my son to be in the police force," said Padma.

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