“The ward office had not received a formal complaint from residents about structural changes. As there was no complaint and the building had an occupation certificate, prima facie, the cause behind the collapse seems to be the use of poor quality construction material,” said Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, however, will look into whether illegal structural modifications had been made. “If there are any violations, of changes made to the structure affecting its stability, appropriate criminal action will be taken,” he said.
To ascertain the cause, the BMC on Wednesday announced an inquiry.
“A three-day inquiry will be conducted by a structural architect and the report will be furnished,” Adtani said.
However, questions have been raised about the BMC’s claim that it was unaware of modifications made to the building.
“It can’t be true that the ward office did not know of the changes. Residents had told ward officials that the structure had weakened, but officials neither conducted inspections nor registered the complaint. It is negligence and the issue will be raised in the standing committee,” said Rais Shaikh, member of the civic standing committee.