Another wall collapse in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar housing complex
A day after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a notice to a developer to repair its society’s compound wall, around 50 metres part of the wall of the upscale housing complex in Ghatkopar (West) caved in on Friday morning. The fire brigade was rushed immediately to the site of the incident, which took place in Kalpataru Aura complex on LBS Marg. No damage to life and property has been reported.
On June 25, the wall of a residential building in Wadala collapsed and buried six cars after heavy rains, forcing residents of 240 flats in the C and D wings of Lloyd Estate to vacate the building.
Residents have blamed BMC and the developer for the incident, claiming that they did not take action despite repeated complaints regarding cracks in the wall over the past one year. Shubha Benurwar, a resident, said, “Even though, BMC issued a notice to the developer a day prior to the incident, we have been writing to the civic body regarding a possible threat to our compound wall for the past one year. A minor cave-in on a 200-square-feet area was reported on the same road in August last year. Since it was repaired, we have been writing to the civic body to conduct an inspection of the site. However, an inspection was done just three days before the incident took place.”
While BMC has maintained that the construction of the compound wall was faulty, the developer said that the wall has a solid foundation and the desilting work of a nullah adjoining the compound is to blame.
“Nullah desilting and dredging by various agencies over the past decade has led to the scouring of soil below the nullah wall , weakening it at several points. This has in turn led to the weakening of the compound wall. We will support the residents and authorities in carrying out the remedial measures necessary on a priority basis,” said a spokesperson of the Kalpataru Group.
Vijay Singhal, additional municipal commissioner, said, “The nullah desilting work cannot be held responsible for the cave-in, as desilting takes place every year and we follow a precise technique. I have instructed BMC staff to look into whether the concerned builder had adhered to norms set by the SWD (storm water drain) department while cleaning the portion of the nullah he was responsible for, and if the retaining wall had been constructed properly. We will clean the nullah where silt may have flowed in after the incident, and patch up the affected parts.”
Earlier this week, a society resident had complained about the cracks to BMC, alerting them that an incident similar to the one in Wadala may take place. Jagdish Shetty, the resident who filed the complaint, said, “I complained to the local ward office about the cracks that had apparently developed due to the scouring of the nullah. Following this, civic officials had inspected the site and forwarded the complaint to SWD department.”
SWD department then issued a notice to the developer and the architect, stating that the foundation of the retaining wall had not been constructed correctly.
While only 50 metres of the wall has caved in, the entire stretch could collapse any time soon, Shetty added.
Mofatraj Munot, chairman, Kalpataru Group, said, “I am not aware of the situation as now, but if required, we will reconstruct the wall.”
The Kalpataru Aura complex houses 17 high-rises with 1,247 tenements.