Worli crash: Police book builder, contractor and supervisor for causing death by negligence
On Tuesday, two zari workers lost their lives outside Four Seasons Hotel, in Worli, when a concrete slab from a construction site behind the hotel fell on them ‘accidentally’, while they were on a break from work at a paan and tea shop nearby. They were not looking over their shoulders, as an aam Mumbaikar must to remain safe on the road
Mumbai: Ai dil hai mushkil jeena yahan, zara hatke, zara bachke, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan – comic artiste Johnny Walker had immortalised these lines in ‘CID’ in 1956. Over six decades later, the lyrics symbolise survival for the city’s aam janta. On Tuesday, two zari workers lost their lives outside Four Seasons Hotel, in Worli, when a concrete slab from a construction site behind the hotel fell on them ‘accidentally’, while they were on a break from work at a paan and tea shop nearby. They were not looking over their shoulders, as an aam Mumbaikar must to remain safe on the road.
On Wednesday, Worli police registered an FIR against the builder of the Four Seasons Residential project, contractor and supervisor, after zari workers gathered outside the Worli police station and protested police inaction.
“A case has been registered sections 304 A of the Indian Penal Code for causing death by negligence and 34 common intentions. Some of them have been detained as well,” said a police officer.
Ashadujjaman Khan, cousin of 29-year-old Imran Ali Khan, who is one of the deceased said the family refused to claim the body and made rounds of the police station and BYL Nair Hospital throughout the day. “The offence was registered only when labourers from Bihar and West Bengal, from where the deceased hailed, along with locals from Gandhinagar, gathered outside the police station after which the offence was registered,” said Khan, calling attention to the fact that there were no safety nets on the site.
Imran belonged to Bankura, West Bengal and lived in Subhash Nagar, behind the Nehru Planetarium, in Worli. He had returned to work after a break from his home, where his father had an open-heart surgery. “We have not told him about his son’s death yet. Imran also has a two-year-old son,” said Khan. Imran was on the phone with his wife when the incident happened. “She called us as she heard people shouting.”
The other deceased, identified as Shabir Ali Shakir Ali Mirza, 37, also a Worli resident, hailed from Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh. He has two sons who live with his wife in UP.
His sister, Nigar Fatima, who lives in Mumbra said, “He had lot of responsibilities and used to work meticulously at the zari unit.” The two had dinner at her place the day before.
Rashidula Khan, a zari worker who saw the incident, said, “I saw how the blocks crashed in no time. There was smog all around but it soon became clear that Shabir was badly injured and bleeding from head and likewise, Imran lay on the other side. We could not help them immediately, afraid that other blocks may also come down.”
The deceased and Rashidula work at Shevie Exports LLP at Hansraj Pragaji Warehousing Private Limited. All of them travel by the road behind the hotel daily. “The builder did not take any safety precautions and was working till late which led to the incident,” said Renuka Tambe, who had gathered with other Gandhi Nagar residents at the spot.
Jagdish Udhapuri, CEO of Shevie Exports LLP said, “Both were hardworking and were employed here for a few months. We will co-operate and help them in every possible way.”
The paan-tea shop owner, Gaurishankar Jaiswar, said “The two had stopped by for some tea and namkeen. I was attending to some other customers when the incident occurred, taking our breath away. We were fortunate to be saved.”
When HT reached out to Zulfiquar Memon, managing partner of MZM Legal, he said, “On behalf of Provenance Land (leading luxury real estate developer that brought Four Seasons to Mumbai in 2003), we are currently assisting the Worli police with the investigation.”
Rajan Bandelkar, president, National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), said, “I am not aware of the specifics of the incident, but the council has submitted a representation to the deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. We have said that in such incidents a deputy commissioner level officer should conduct a thorough probe and pin down the person responsible for the negligence, and only then lodge an FIR. A committee, headed by the DCP, should be formed for the investigation.”
BMC looks the other way
Washing their hands off the issue on safety measures implemented by the developers, the press statement from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said: “This office once again instructed concerned developer/ architect to take utmost safety precautions on site in view of accident on February 14.”
An engineer from the building proposals department, responsible for the site, refused to comment on the incident or enforcing safety measures on site.
Inputs by Jeet Mashru