The collapse of a four-storey building at Malad’s Malvani that led to the deaths of 12 people while injuring 7 others, has brought attention to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
However, the civic agency is now looking to distance itself from the situation by claiming that the buildings were on collector’s land. A BMC official added that they have been notifying the collector’s office about these dangerous structures.
“We have been notifying the collector’s office from time to time about illegal structures coming up, as well as dangerous buildings. We had requested them to carry out an inspection of these structures too,” an official was quoted as saying by the Free Press Journal.
After the collapse of the building, a few letters written by the BMC’s P-South ward in 2019 have come to light wherein the deputy collector (encroachment) was notified about the dilapidated structure at Malvani Gate No. 8 in the New Collector Compound.
These letters show that in addition to notifying the deputy collectors about these illegal structures, the ward officer and assistant engineer recommended an inspection while also offering its workers to carry out the inspection. Both letters were sent to the deputy collector’s office between May and September 2019.
Separately, BJP corporator from Kurar village, Vinod Mishra as well as Member of Parliament, Gopal Shetty had written to the BMC to take action against in the matter.
“The buildings are constructed illegally and had serious structural faults, we have been pointing this out from time to time, but all they know is to pass the buck and not take action, leading to such a tragedy,” Mishra said after the incident.
BJP National Secretary Sunil Deodhar blamed corruption and vote bank politics for this incident, pointing fingers at CM Uddhav Thackeray and Guardian Minister Aslam Sheikh in a tweet.
In response to the allegations, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar said, “Culprits should take responsibility for this. More than looking into whose administration it was, what should be determined is who was responsible for this. Had everyone been responsible, it wouldn’t have happened”.