Twenty-four hours after a seven-storey building collapsed near Shil Phata in Thane on Thursday, the police are yet to trace the absconding builders.
Preliminary reports after the collapse had indicated the building was unauthorised and inferior-quality materials were used for its construction.
Thane police commissioner KP Raghuvanshi said they have formed four teams to track down the three main accused — builders Salim Shaikh, Jamaal Qureshi and Adnan Shaikh — and their partners, who have been booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
When asked if others can be charged for negligence, Raghuvanshi said, “At this stage, we are on the lookout for the builders. Depending upon what the investigations reveal, we may book more persons.”
The case was registered on the basis of the statement of Sharfuddin Ahmad Ansari, 38, a building resident, who told the police that the material used in construction was substandard.
Ansari also alleged that to avoid civic action, the builders had constructed the seven-storey building in only seven months, and construction of the eighth floor was in progress when the incident occurred.
MLA Ramesh Patil said the Thane Municipal Corporation was responsible for the incident and a case of murder should be registered against them.
“I had complained to the TMC several times with photographs of the illegal construction, but the TMC did not take the matter seriously,” Patil alleged.