A major tragedy was averted in Mulund as after about 1,200 people performed their visarjans, a portion of an artificial immersion pond built by Mulund MLA Sardar Tara Singh, using his funds, caved in on Friday morning. Interestingly, the immersion pond, located on the Eastern Express Highway, had been built on a 2-acre land just two years ago at a cost of about Rs 5 crores.
According to civic authorities, the shoddy work done at the pond was to be blamed for the mishap. “Prima facie, it seems to us that the reason could have been a weak foundation laid for the wall of the pond, which was the reason for the collapse,” said a civic official.
Singh, however, denied the allegations of shoddy work. “The pond had been built after reclaiming the creek and hence, the salts in the land beneath made the foundation weak. Also, tremors from trucks, carrying heavy containers, which pass by on the adjacent highway have led to weakening of the structure,” said Singh.
Dr Sangita Hasnale, assistant municipal commissioner, T Ward said, “The work was done by Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and so MHADA will conduct an inquiry. The pond had not yet been handed over to the civic body and hence, we have no right over it yet. But, we inspected the pond and concluded that immersions can go on smoothly, despite the collapse.”