Activist writes to Bhiwandi Nizampur civic body, wants action against officials for building collapsesUpdated: Oct 16, 2020, 01:05 IST
Following the recent building collapse in Bhiwandi, Thane resident Rahul Jogdand has drafted a letter to the civic commissioner of Bhiwandi Nizampur City Municipal Corporation (BNCMC) demanding action against civic officials responsible for the mushrooming of illegal constructions.
Jogdand, 46, who had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against illegal buildings in Bhiwandi in 2013, claimed that had the corporation taken action on the High Court order, lives of 38 people would have been saved.
On September 21, a part of ground-plus-three floored Jilani building in Bhiwandi collapsed, killing 38 and injuring 25. Jogdand drafted the letter to the civic commissioner last week.
Jogdand said, “More than 80 per cent of the buildings in Bhiwandi are illegal. The officials and the developers are together in this, leading to the mushrooming of illegal construction in Bhiwandi. I have demanded that the High Court order to take action against these buildings be strictly followed instead of merely setting up a committee to pin responsibility for the collapse.”
Jogdand, in 2013, drafted a PIL in the high court following which the court had given orders to take action against the illegal buildings.
Rais Shaikh, Member of Legislative Assembly, Samajwadi Party from Bhiwandi who has been continuously following up with the CM and state minister, said, “There is no proper structural audit of the buildings in the city. Almost 80 per cent of the buildings are illegal. How many will the corporation take action against? I have requested the CM and cabinet ministers to implement cluster development in Bhiwandi like in Thane.”
Pankaj Ashiya, municipal commissioner of BNCMC, said they have found two officers and the owner of the building guilty for the collapse. Ashiya said, “We will take action against them. One is the town planning department and other is assistant municipal commissioner of BNCMC posted during the time.”
Bhiwandi has 25 buildings in C1 category, which is extremely dangerous category. Of these, eight have been demolished. There are 82 structures in the C2 category (dangerous buildings), of which 77 has been vacated while 222 structures come under C2B and C3 categories, which mean they can be repaired while residents occupy the structures.