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Second building collapse in a week; BMC puts onus on land owning authority

While the second building collapse in the suburbs this week, in a slum populated area in Malad calls for attention, the BMC has claimed that all these places are not checked by them, as they are on land parcels owned by different agencies. Most of the houses in slums stand without any strong support on the ground, endangering the lives of the residents.

On Monday, part of a building collapsed in a thickly populated slum pocket in Bandra east, where one person was killed and 5 others injured. On Wednesday night at Malad’s Malwani area, a ground plus three structure collapsed on neighbouring structures, killing 11 people and injuring seven.

Time and again the authorities have been reiterating the fact that the structures in the city should not be above ground plus one, but still the people in slums construct tall houses without any support. There is a need for strong action against such houses so that lives are not lost, said a fire official involved in the rescue operation at Malad.

While the BMC has said that it is for the land-owning authority to carry out checks, its officials had also said that if need be, they will be ready to help with machinery and manpower. Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar, said, “We have been updating the authorities and also calling meetings with them to inform them about taking action in their jurisdiction, and we are ready to extend help to them. Even now I will call a meeting in this regard to ensure 
that action is taken wherever necessary.”

With the land owing authority in this case being the Suburban Collector’s office, it will be their responsibility to carry out further checks. According to the locals in Malad, there are many such structures in this area that are as tall as ground plus four, and are built without any strong ground support. These houses have no beams or columns like in case of buildings that have floors constructed on top of one another. They are just made up of brick walls without any proper concrete support. It is learnt that the height of structures in slums is to be restricted to 6 metres, which means they cannot be taller than ground plus mezzanine or a small first floor.


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