Twenty-six families residing at Gautam Niwas Co-Operative Housing Society in Andheri were asked to evacuate on Wednesday night after the building developed cracks allegedly due to the use of the vibrohammer for the construction of the Metro line.
Gautam Niwas is located 30 feet from the Metro tracks. Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL — a venture between Reliance Infrastructure, MMRDA and French firm Veolia — has been laying the foundation of the line’s elevated route.
The society moved the high court on Thursday seeking that the MMRDA be directed to provide alternative accommodation.
The court said that it could not pass any order without going through the report of the structural engineer. “Let us wait for the structural audit report by the structural engineer,” said Justice F.I. Rebello.
Dr Monica Matani, who had filed a petition with the high court in 2008 after MMOPL used the vibrohammer in October 2008, said that fresh sounds of cracks were heard in the building on Wednesday night prompting the residents to call BMC and the fire department. After inspection, fire department officials asked them to evacuate. Assistant municipal of the K Ward and officers of the disaster management were also present at the building on Wednesday and Thursday.
“The BMC officers have neither said that the building is safe to live in, nor have they said that it is unsound. Because of this, we are in a limbo,” said Matani, who is currently staying with her parents in Santacruz.
“Of the 26 families, three-four families have decided to stay back since they have no other place to go,” said Matani. The remaining have shifted to their relatives’ houses.
Acting on court orders, MMRDA appointed a consultant to carry out the structural audit of the building on February 23 to determine if the cracks were age related or caused by the vibrohammer. On Thursday, a team of 4-5 people started the survey, which would take four days.