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Loose soil triggers panic about another landslide near Mumbai’s Wadala building

Panicky residents fear landslide as loose soil comes off during work on the collapsed compound wall; allege construction is on despite BMC’s stop-work notice

mumbai Updated: Jun 27, 2018 11:23 IST
Eeshanpriya M S
Eeshanpriya M S
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Wadala building,Wadala landslide
Loose soil from the spot slid away at 3.20pm on Tuesday, triggering fears of another landslide at the spot.(Satish Bate/HT Photo)

A day after the compound wall of Lloyd Estate in Wadala collapsed, leading to at least six cars caving into the neighbouring under-construction site of Dosti Realty, loose soil from the spot slid away at 3.20pm on Tuesday, triggering fears of another landslide at the spot .

Blaming Dosti Realty’s work for Monday’s landslide and cave-in, residents of Lloyd Estate had filed an FIR against the developer and civic body for negligence. While an urgent audit by a court-appointed auditor, Shantilal Jain, on Monday declared Lloyd Estate safe, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a stop-work notice to Dosti group.

Tuesday’s incident, which residents termed landslide, occurred as Dosti Realty started to repair the damaged part of Lloyd Estate’s compound wall. According to the auditor’s orders, the builder was required to fill debris and concrete under the caved-in portion of the wall, and seal it with steel girders for additional support. “As we watched the ongoing repairs, another portion of the concrete began to slip and fell into the gorge. The builder is to blame as he did not take precautions,” said GB Yadav, a member of the Lloyd Estate society.

Dosti Realty, however, denied the incident: “There are pictures and videos being circulated on some media channels and on WhatsApp groups that there was another landslide at the same site at 3.45pm which is not true. On account of natural slope and gravity, certain amount of backfilling is resettling, which is normal and part of the process. As the matter is sub-judice, we would refrain from commenting any further.”

Panicking, the residents called the fire brigade team, which inspected the site again.

Lloyd Estate residents also alleged that despite a stop-work notice, construction work was being carried out at Dosti Realty. “As the construction started in the morning, more than 50 of us gathered at the spot. We approached the BMC’s building proposals department at 11am, requesting them to show the stop-work notice copy to the workers. The work stopped by noon,” said Rita Ruparel, another resident.

Acting on the court’s order to their plea against the work filed earlier this month, the residents, representatives of the builders and court commissioner met on Tuesday to discuss the issues. “The structural auditor appointed by us, representatives of the builder and court commissioner discussed measures to be taken for repair of the portion that caved in. We wanted to ensure all parties agreed to the solution. We reached a conclusion, after which the work was undertaken,” said Nauser Dalal, a resident of Lloyd Estate.

BMC chief Ajoy Mehta said, “Three parties involved had a meeting which was productive.”

Meanwhile, despite repeated efforts, one of the six cars that got stuck in the debris could not be removed. The other vehicles were removed by Monday evening. Ruparel, the owner of the stuck car, said, “Our priority is to ensure the damaged portion is repaired, so there are no more landslides. I can’t claim insurance until the company gets to see the car. My original documents are inside.” Pooja Dey, whose car was pulled out, said, “We have filed an insurance claim.”

First Published: Jun 27, 2018 10:00 IST