MHADA report confirms tenants’ allegations
The preliminary investigation report by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), prepared after an emergency meeting on Wednesday, confirmed Yusuf Manzil’s residents’ allegations.india Updated: Aug 27, 2009 00:36 IST
The preliminary investigation report by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), prepared after an emergency meeting on Wednesday, confirmed Yusuf Manzil’s residents’ allegations.
They had alleged that the building collapsed on Tuesday evening due to the removal of a staircase and an attempt to build an illegal loft by Yunus Memon (60) and his son Irfan (35), who ran Janata Electronics on the ground floor.
Residents said the Memons also dug into the foundation to build an illegal mezzanine floor.
Yusuf Manzil was on the list of dilapidated buildings. There are 16,000 such buildings in South Mumbai.
Prima facie reports by the fire brigade also said structural changes and illegal repairs could have caused the collapse. “The front portion being weaker than the rear — and the internal structural changes — was the cause,” said PD Karguppikar, chief fire officer.
MHADA officials said, on condition of anonymity, that Yunus and Irfan had powerful political connections.
Sachin Ahir, chairman, Mumbai Building Repair and Reconstruction Board, said: “MHADA gave permission just 10 days ago to repair the common staircase, but the shop owner tried to remove it. He might have damaged a pillar too.” He added: “The authorities tried the repair the staircase two months ago, but workers were beaten up by the shop owner. MHADA lodged a complaint with the DB Marg police.”
Civic Deputy Chief Engineer Balbir Sehgal will carry out an inquiry and submit a report in two days. MHADA will demolish the rest of the building and shift residents into transit camps at Dharavi. Action will be taken against the architect for not taking civic permission before carrying out structural changes.