Refusing to let civic officials seal their shops and houses in Shish Mahal - an illegal structure that has become dangerous -- shopkeepers and residents allegedly assaulted Manish Hire, ward officer of Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC), who was supervising the proceedings on Friday. An offence has been registered against the residents.
Manish Hire said, "When I went to seal the building, residents of the building assaulted me physically. Despite warning them that it is for safety of their lives, they forcibly drove me out of the spot."
Four months ago, illegal repair and plaster work was carried out at the building in Camp No 2. As the compressor snapped the earlier cement concrete, the structure could not hold the weight and the vibrations of the compressor. Consequently, three slabs of the building gave way killing nine people, including seven children and two women.
Ashok Rankhamb, commissioner, UMC, said: "During the inquiry, it was revealed that the building was illegal. The developer had not submitted the plan and had also not sought the permissions required under the BPMC Act. For the repair work too, they did not seek permission from the civic body and did not conduct a structural audit."
"Our technical experts have carried out the structural audit of Shish Mahal. The report clearly mentions that the building is dangerous and not safe for living. We will be sending another officer to seal the building," he said.
The residents, however, beg to differ. Manish Khatri, resident, said, "We too have got the structural audit of our building done from a private agency. The report states that the building is not dangerous and we can reside in it. We will not leave the place come what may."