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Dongri Building Should Have Been Demolished in 2012, State Govt Blames Private Builder

Chairman of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority Uday Samant said that strict action will be taken against the private developer and the MHADA officials who should have overseen the demolition work.


Updated:July 17, 2019, 8:17 AM IST

New Delhi: In a shocking revelation, Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) chairman Uday Samant admitted that the four-storeyed building, which collapsed in south Mumbai on Tuesday, was supposed to have been demolished in 2012.

The ground-plus-four-storey 'Kesarbai' building, located in a densely populated narrow lane in Dongri's Tandel Street, collapsed around 11.40 am, leaving around 50 people trapped. At least 13 people have been confirmed dead so far.

Samant, also the MLA of the Ratnagiri-Sangmeshwar constituency, said the building was 100 years old. According to him, the building owned by the Maharashtra Housing And Area Development Authority (MHADA) was to be demolished by a private developer. "Strict action will be taken, no one will be spared...the developer and our officials should have seen the work," he said.

After the collapse of the building, the MHADA said it had not given a No Objection Certificate to the developer in 2012 for its redevelopment. The authority added that it is an MHADA building and not under the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the latter had given a notice to the residents to vacate the building in August 2017.

However, despite the notice for immediate demolition of the building by the BMC in 2019, the building went missing from the MHADA's list of dangerous buildings issued before monsoons in 2019.

Congress legislator Bhai Jagtap also alleged that residents had been complaining to the MHADA to take prompt measures as the building was very old and in a dilapidated state. However, a top MHADA office-bearer denied that the building belonged to the authority.

Vinod Ghosalkar, chief of the repair board of MHADA, said the building did not belong to the housing body as mentioned by a few locals and Jagtap. His statement came even as officials of MHADA reached the site to assess the situation.

Fire brigade, Mumbai Police and civic officials rushed to the site of the collapse despite being hindered by the narrow constricted lanes. Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force were also deployed while scores of locals joined in the efforts.

The locals joining in the rescue efforts formed a human chain to help remove the debris brick-by-brick and pick up slabs of concrete to locate those buried. Ambulance, however, were unable to reach the site and had to be parked around 50 metres away.

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