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Mumbai building collapse: Siddhi Sai was not on BMC list of old buildings

Though the that collapsed in July had completed 30 years in 2014, it did not find a mention in the civic body’s list of buildings that require a structural audit.

mumbai Updated: Aug 25, 2017 00:54 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman
Tanushree Venkatraman
Hindustan Times
Mumbai news,BMC,Ghatkopar building collapse
17 people were killed and 13 were injured in the collapse.(HT File)

Though the Siddhi Sai building in Ghatkopar that collapsed in July killing 17 people had completed 30 years in 2014, it did not find a mention in the civic body’s list of buildings more than 30 years old that require a structural audit.

The report submitted by a three-member panel to the municipal commissioner on Wednesday, revealed this. The report further states that the building and factory staff in the N ward (Ghatkopar) had not updated the list after 2013.

The civic body has made it mandatory for buildings over 30 years old to get a structural audit. A 2009 circular also makes it mandatory for the building and factory department to make a list of such buildings and issue notices under section 353 B of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act to conduct an audit within 30 days. The society is even liable for prosecution under section 471 of the MMC Act if they do not conduct repairs if specified in the report.

The report states, “The building was, however, structurally audited by the residents twice but the audit reports were not submitted to the building and factory department of N ward so they were not aware of the status of the building till it collapsed.” The structural reports stated that the building needed repairs. However, the report states that the building would have survived longer if not tampered with “indiscriminately.”

The report further reveals that 1,610 notices were issued in the ward. However, no follow-up was undertaken post this. Despite repeated attempts, N ward official Bhagyashree Kapse was not available for a comment.

The report has recommended an inquiry against the building and factory department for the lapses. The Siddhi Sai building in Ghatkopar (West) collapsed on July 25, killing 17 people and injuring 13. The building was built in 1983. The probe has nailed Shiv Sena member Sunil Shitap, who undertook unauthorised work on the ground floor of the ground plus four storey building, eventually leading to its collapse.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, leader of opposition and Congress corporator Ravi Raja said that the report is shielding civic officials. He has written to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis demanding a probe by a retired high court judge on the collapse. Raja said, “The report is putting the blame entirely on one individual. The building was on the main road and the work was on for 18-20 days, then how can BMC be unaware of what has happened?” The corporator has also demanded that civic officials named in the report be dismissed immediately.

As reported by HT, the report has pointed at administrative lapses on part of the medical officer of health, the sanitary inspector, the executive engineer of the N ward and the building and factory staff.

First Published: Aug 25, 2017 00:50 IST