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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

West

Mahim building collapse: Locals blame BMC for ignoring complaints
HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Mumbai, June 18, 2013
First Published: 09:41 IST(18/6/2013)
Last Updated: 12:20 IST(18/6/2013)

Residents of Aftab Manzil claim they have been complaining to the civic body about the weakening of the building since November 2008.

They alleged that despite writing to the BMC about the structural changes made by the car showroom owner, Sandeep Bafna, authorities took no action.

Addressing the media on Monday, advocate Rizwan Merchant and other residents of the building claimed that Bafna had reduced the width of the basement pillars and demolished the base wall to fit glass for his showroom.

“These changes weakened the building. In 2008, several requests were made to the Furniturwala brothers [building owners ], Iqbal Ibrahim [basement owner], and Bafna [the lessee] to get the repairs done, but they paid no heed to our complaints,” said a resident.

Merchant said the beams were weakened and could no longer hold the weight of the building.

 “On realising the damage, we sought help of structural engineer Chetan Raikar.

He suggested immediate repair to strengthen the pillars, but nothing was done. We then filed a complaint with the BMC,” Merchant said.

However, the BMC officials, residents alleged, joined hands with the accused.

Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner, BMC, said, "We have not received the documents from the residents.

We will scrutinised it and then initiate an inquiry.” He said action will be taken against the then ward officer and concerned civic official, if the allegations are true.


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