In another case of civic neglect and builder apathy, just four days after 74 people died in a building collapse in Mumbra, one person drowned when a pipe burst and flooded his flat in Govandi on Monday.
The incident, which left eight residents injured, took place at 3.45am when an active 24-inch water pipeline underneath the eight-storey residential Sanjee-vani building burst.
While the Mumbra building was built without permissions, the Govandi building should not have come up over a functional pipeline. "We were woken up by a loud sound. We thought it was an earthquake, and suddenly we were under water. Water started to rise, the door and windows got jammed, and we could not get out," said Renuka Hazare, 40, whose father, Devsingh Hazare, 62, drowned after the family got stuck inside their ground floor flat. Six members of the family escaped after other residents heard their shouts and broke open the door.
The water gushed out, breaking down the wall that separates the building from Anand Nagar slums.
The BMC will investigate why the pipeline was active when permission was granted to lay an alternative supply route in 2008 and the line was laid. "The reasons for not decommissioning the supply are being probed," said Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner.