The civic structural audit report of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in November last year had clearly stated the four-storeyed building that collapsed in Mazgaon on Friday needed immediate repairs, failing which the structure would be adversely affected.
This was admitted by civic officials on Saturday at the BMC’s special general body meeting. However, nothing was done to repair the structure.
Surprisingly, despite this admission, the BMC went ahead and filed a first information report (FIR) against Jain Decorators for constructing a mezzanine floor on Friday, which it alleges weakened the foundation, but has not initiated any action against any of its officials.
This is not the first time the civic body has blamed a third party to cover up its mistakes. When Aftab Mansion in Mahim collapsed, the BMC had hung the responsibility on a showroom located on the ground floor for making structural alterations. However, a detailed technical inquiry report which was submitted a month later had no mention about the alterations made by the showroom.
CD Chore, assistant commissioner in-charge of markets department, said, “We were waiting for the amount to be allocated in the 2013 budget.” However, when questioned why they waited for six months after the budget was allocated, Chore had no answer.
Local corporator Yamini Jadhav said: “I have been asking the administration to visit the site and take immediate action since a year. Nobody responded.”
Additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar, who heads the department, did not wish to take the blame. “It is clear from our past inspection that there was an illegal construction on the ground floor, which is the sole reason for the collapse.”