Mumbai building collapse: Four still feared trapped under debris; BMC, SRA play blame game
At least four daily wage labourers are still feared trapped under the debris of erstwhile commercial building — Krishnan Business Parkmumbai Updated: Aug 28, 2017 00:38 IST
The fire brigade and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel on Sunday could not rescue any labourer trapped under the debris of a seven-storey building in Chandivali parts of which collapsed while being demolished on Saturday evening. Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) blamed each other for lack of vigilance during the demolition.
At least four daily wage labourers are still feared trapped under the debris of erstwhile commercial building — Krishnan Business Park. On Saturday, three people were pulled out — one of whom Gaurav, 32, died and Tivandas, 19, and Bablu, 25, were injured.
The civic and fire brigade authorities have no official information on how many labourers were working on the site and their estimate is based on eyewitnesses’ statements. A senior civic official said, “The contractor whose labourers were working at the site has absconded, so we have no count of how many people were working there when the building collapsed. We have no estimate of how many are trapped. We are relying on eyewitnesses.”
Prabhat Rahangdale, chief fire officer of the Mumbai fire brigade, said, “The rescue operation is proving to be challenging as the remaining portion of the building is wobbly and it’s dangerous to enter the building to clear debris as portions of the slab, columns and beams are hanging precariously.”
BMC-SRA blame game
While the BMC says it has been unable to confirm the structural stability of the building’s remaining portion as the SRA has not provided them the information, the latter claims it has nothing to do with the building.
Ajitkumar Ambi, assistant municipal commissioner of L-ward, said, “We are really helpless as SRA, under whom the building falls, has not given us any information. It is really sad that SRA officials will not provide BMC with requisite documents of the building, or even answer our phone calls. So BMC is now focusing on rescue operations only. The investigation can start on Monday after SRA replies.” Ambi added that the civic body has no information on the height of the original building, number of floors, why it was being demolished, and what permissions it had.
A senior SRA official told HT, “The builder wished to give a part of the plot for SRA project but the building is registered with BMC’s building proposal department. The SRA has nothing to do with it.” The official said SRA had written to the BMC asking it to close Krishnan Business Park’s file so that the documents could be transferred to SRA, but BMC did not reply.
First Published: Aug 28, 2017 00:38 IST