A major tragedy was averted after a building near Manishanagar in Kalwa tilted to its right and developed cracks. Nearly 36 families were asked to vacate Vilas Apartments and the adjoining three buildings.
Fourteen of these families live in the three-storey Vilas and Mourya Apartments, both of which are joined by a single wall. The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) have begun demolishing Vilas Apartments as it has become unsafe.
“This area is creek land and Vilas Apartments was constructed between 1980-86. It was an unauthorised building, not scientifically developed,” said city engineer K. D. Lala.
There was construction work going on in Mourya Apartment for the past few days and that could have resulted in the cracks. “On Saturday, there was a three-finger gap, which increased to a five-finger one in twelve hours,” Lala added.
There are six flats and two shops in Vilas apartments.
“My daughter-in-law called up saying that the building had tilted and developed a crack,” said Pratibha Khambe (53), who has been staying at the flat for the past three years.
“We decided to wait for a day because we wanted to call our building’s architect to take his opinion. But when the crack widened, we decided to vacate our flats,” Khambe added.
The residents said the civic body should have let them take their belongings. The residents were only able to take some of their clothes and valuables. However, the officials said that they had no other option because the residents did not inform them about the crack in time.
“We assessed the situation and decided to demolish Vilas Apartments, which was not on our list of dilapidated structures. We first shifted the residents to a municipal school in Mahatma Phule Nagar. We will check the stability of Mourya apartments and then decide whether it needs to be demolished,” said Deputy Municipal Commissioner (anti-encroachment) B. G. Pawar.