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Home / Pune News / Developer responsible for wall collapse: Sinhgad Technical Education Society

Developer responsible for wall collapse: Sinhgad Technical Education Society

Fifteen people, including four children and two women, were killed in their sleep when Alcon Stylus Society’s compound wall fell and buried a cluster of adjoining tin-roofed shanties housing migrant workers and their families from Bihar in Kondhwa-Budruk on June 29 after heavy rains lashed the city

pune Updated: Jul 05, 2019, 16:14 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Compound wall collapse at Sinhgad Institute, Ambegaon
Compound wall collapse at Sinhgad Institute, Ambegaon(HT PHOTO)

Arvind Deshpande, director, Wadgaon-Ambegaon Educational Campus of Sinhgad Technical Education Society, has blamed a builder for carrying out unscientific deep excavation around the wall that made it vulnerable to collapse.

Six construction workers were killed in their sleep and four others injured when a boundary wall of the institute collapsed and buried their shanties in Pune’s Ambegaon campus amidst heavy rainfall on Monday night (July 1). The Bharati Vidyapeeth police have booked the real estate developer, Sinhgad Institute and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) building permission department in the case.

It is the second wall collapse incident in Pune in three days. Fifteen people, including four children and two women, were killed in their sleep when Alcon Stylus Society’s compound wall fell and buried a cluster of adjoining tin-roofed shanties housing migrant workers and their families from Bihar in Kondhwa-Budruk on June 29 after heavy rains lashed the city.

Deshpande has appealed to residents through a public notice published in print media that the wall collapse incident was a tragic case and the educational institute was with the bereaved families in sharing their grief. The appeal stated that all the boundary walls constructed by the institute were of high quality following the laid down norms, rules and regulations specified by the authorities.

The institute has a self-sufficient, effective and skilled manpower wing to handle wall construction work of the entire campus. The current wall was two feet wide and six feet in height where the foundation was done in stone masonry with plain cement concrete (PCC) work. Besides, it had two and a half feet of cement block construction above the stone foundation.

In the neighbourhood, a real estate developer construction work is underway and he had housed his construction workers in tin sheds adjoining the retaining wall. The entire stone foundation of the wall is below the soil inside the college area and only the cement block foundation is above the soil.

However, the developer carried out deep excavation from his side of the wall from where the stone foundation can been seen. The trees from college side were planted after taking all requisite permission. But the real estate developer’s excavation has been deep enough that it exposed the tree roots and led to weakening of support to the said wall.

The wall became vulnerable because of the unscientific action taken by the said builder. “He did not think about the dangers of deep excavation and weakening of the wall. The trees which were exposed to excavation came crashing down while the wall with the trees not exposed to excavation is still intact. The institute is not at all connected with what happened at the plot where the wall collapsed as it is a private area and the institute is not responsible for the construction taking place. The education society is giving permission for anybody or any organisation to come and do a fact-check on ground. We request the police and administration to carry out an independent structural audit by experts and derive their conclusion after taking both sides into consideration,” the public notice stated.

Kondhwa police seize Royal Exotica Property papers

Pune The Kondhwa police have recovered property documents from the office of Kanchan Royal Exotica builders as a part of their investigations into the death of 15 construction workers following a wall collapse of the retaining wall of Alcon Stylus residential society in Kondhwa-Budruk on the night of June 29.

The Kanchan Group is the developer of Royal Exotica Project where the victims, construction labourers, died in the wall collapse accident. The court has rejected the pre-arrest bail plea of Kanchan Group partners Pankaj Vohra, Suresh Shaha and Rashmikant Gandhi. Alcon Landmarks builders Vivek Agarwal and Vipul Agarwal are already in police custody since their arrest on June 29.

Police Inspector (crime ) Mahadeo Kumbhar, the investigation officer in the case, said that the police team visited the office of Royal Exotica builders and seized important property documents.

“We have taken possession of property documents like registration deeds, ownership titles, various building permission related documents, occupancy certificates, layout and detailed building plans. The same set of documents has been seized from Alcon Landmarks office,” Kumbhar said.

The Kondhwa police have booked six others, including three Kanchan Group partners, on charges of culpable homicide and common intention. Developers of Alcon Stylus housing society — Jagdish Agrawal, Rajesh Agrawal, Sachin Agrawal, Vivek Agrawal and Vipul Agrawal — were booked along with the site engineer, contractor and supervisor for culpable homicide not amounting to murder (Section 304) and common intention (Section 34) of the Indian Penal Code.

The adjoining construction site’s developers of Kanchan Royal Exotica, Pankaj Vora, Suresh Shah and Rashmikant Gandhi were also named in the FIR along with the site engineer, contractor and supervisor.

The Pune police told the court last Sunday that the developers of the housing society where the wall collapse killed 15 people amid torrential rains had previously ignored warnings by residents that the structure was tilting and could fall. Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has served notice for suspension of registration of two developers in the Kondhwa wall collapse incident.

Meanwhile, investigations into the Sinhgad institute wall collapse incident made no headway as the police were yet to make any arrests in the case. Six construction workers were killed in their sleep and four others injured when a boundary wall collapsed and buried their shanties in Ambegaon as heavy rainfall continued to pound the city on Monday night. Police Inspector Vishnu Pawar, incharge of Bharati Vidyapeeth police station where the case has been lodged, was unavailable for his comments.

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