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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Mumbai Mazgaon building collapse caused by poor quality construction material?

Kunal Purohit , Hindustan Times  Mumbai, October 03, 2013
First Published: 08:15 IST(3/10/2013) | Last Updated: 08:20 IST(3/10/2013)

Shoddy work and inferior-quality raw materials may have caused the collapse of the BMC staff colony in Mazgaon that killed 61 people.

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The private consultant appointed to carry out a structural audit of the building had said the materials used seemed to be of inferior quality. While the jury is still out on what could have caused the collapse, this new revelation provides some answers.

So far, the civic body has consistently blamed a private decorator’s firm which operated from the ground floor for making illegal alterations.

However, the consultant’s report submitted last November will raise uncomfortable questions about the civic body’s supervision while the building was being constructed.

The structure, a four-storeyed reinforced cement concrete (RCC) building, was built by the civic body in 1980.

Incidentally, the construction took place around the same time when the state was hit by a cement shortage, which led to many builders and contractors adulterating the material.

It isn’t yet known whether the civic body built the structure itself or hired a private contractor.

An inspection report submitted by the planning and design department on July 4 also states the waterproofing on the building’s terrace was bad.

Experts said the fact that an RCC building could collapse in a little over 30 years in itself shows there was something amiss with the construction quality.

“Generally, an RCC building can easily last for a good 60 years,” said Rajendra Mehta, city builder and president of the Property Lessors Association.


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