In the aftermath of the collapse, the Dahisar police are investigating if there was negligence on the part of anyone that led to the collapse. But locals say the building was sold by its developer to a diamond merchant who installed heavy machines and made structural changes which could have led to the collapse.
Seven people were killed and as many were injured after the building crashed near the railway station, Dahisar (East), at 6.30am on Saturday.
The police said that Piyush building, built in 1980, was evacuated in 2010 after the BMC declared the ground plus four-storey building dangerous.
“The BMC had notified the occupants of the building to evacuate the premises. They had also put up a caution notice. Metal railings were erected around the compound wall to keep locals from entering,” said an officer from Dahisar police station. Residents of Thakur Niwas, located adjacent to the building, blamed the developer for the collapse. According to them, the developer sold all flats to a diamond businessman who installed heavy machines in the premises and made structural changes that weakened the building.
Praveen Patil, deputy commissioner of the police, zone 12, said: “We are recording the statements of the former managing committee of the building to corroborate allegations made against the developer. We are checking statements made by the BMC officials on the evacuation and notices sent to the committee.”
Preliminary investigations revealed that the residents of Piyush building sold their flats after which the building was being used as a place for diamond cutting and polishing. Sunil Deshmukh, assistant commissioner, Dahisar division, said, “After 1984, the residential units were sold for commercial purposes. The BMC had filed a case after the residential building was used for industrial production. However, we are yet to ascertain what cases were filed.”