Mumbai building fire: Residents in the dark about future
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Mumbai building fire: Residents in the dark about future

While some were trying to cope with the loss of lives in Wednesday’s fire, others were on Thursday looking for shelters till the time their building was declared fit.

mumbai Updated: Aug 24, 2018 00:10 IST
Steffy Thevar
Steffy Thevar
Hindustan Times
Mumbai fire,mumbai building fire,Mumbai building resident
Mumbai, India - Aug. 23, 2018: People stand in the lobby of the Crystal tower at Parel in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, August 23, 2018. (Photo by Pratik Chorge/Hindustan Times)(Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

There seems to be no end to struggle for the 58 families of Crystal Tower in Parel. While some were trying to cope with the loss of lives in Wednesday’s fire, others were on Thursday looking for shelters till the time their building was declared fit. One family, the Kapoors, meanwhile, decided to stay put, even though the water and power supply were disconnected.

Through the day, residents were seen leaving with their luggage and essentials to their friends’ or relatives’ homes. Rajinder Kapoor had a different stand. “My wife, son and I will not leave the flat. It is our home. We have been living here since 1995. We will drink bottled water and live in candle light,” said the eighth floor resident, who stayed in the home even on Wednesday night, despite police’s warning.

Other residents claimed the civic body had not sent them any official notice to vacate the building. Kishore Desai, assistant municipal commissioner of F/South ward (Parel), said, “We had sent a notice in 2016 and now the matter is sub-judice. We can’t take any more action.”

The residents had a meeting in the morning where they decided to pool in ₹10,000 each to repair electrical ducts, clear debris and get electricity connections. However, the chief fire officer made it clear the building was unsafe and that no services would be provided without their certificate. “The residents can’t repair the duct until the fire department gives them a no-objection certificate. After we get a detailed inquiry report, we will send out notices to service providers, to not provide services such as power to the building,” said chief fire officer PS Rahangdale.

Unlike the Kapoors, the police restrictions weakened the resolve of others who had been firm on staying back till evening. “We are now living with relatives and probably will be home tomorrow,” said Yvette D’souza, a resident of 10th floor. Jitendra Chauhan, a resident of fifth floor, said, “My wife and I are too old to climb up five flights of stairs. I have had two heart surgeries and we can’t even go up to get our stuff without the lift. We hope we get to stay in our homes soon.”

First Published: Aug 24, 2018 00:10 IST