Tenant,society fight as floor of Carter Road flat gives way

The living room of a third-floor apartment in Sagar Darshan building on Carter Road,where a documentary shoot was on,collapsed Thursday afternoon,injuring five people who fell into the floor below.

Written by Alison Saldanha | Mumbai | Published: June 22, 2013 2:05 am

The living room of a third-floor apartment in Sagar Darshan building on Carter Road,where a documentary shoot was on,collapsed Thursday afternoon,injuring five people who fell into the floor below.

Tenant and filmmaker Raja Sen and the society are now locked in a battle.

Sen alleges the owners and society stopped him from calling BMC and the fire brigade,fearing property prices at the 40-year-old building would fall.

The society claims the floor caved in due to the presence of film crew and equipment.

BMC ordered a fresh structural audit of Sagar Darshan Friday evening.

“At about 3.30 pm as we were setting up for shooting a documentary,floor of the living room gave way taking five people down. We called fire brigade. But society members asked us not to use BMC services,” Sen,who had lodged a complaint with Bandra police,said. When Sen and wife moved in October 2012,the wooden flooring of the flat had a minor warp.

“The last few weeks,the flooring seemed to have sunk further. The landlord said he would take up repairs if cracks develop,” Sen said.

A building resident said: “We will start criminal proceedings against the tenant because he had 22 people in the room with equipment weighing well over 200 kg. This caused the collapse. Our building is absolutely sound,we conduct structural audits every year.”

Sen countered,“While renting the flat,I had specifically asked if it would be alright to shoot here. The landlord said that was not a problem. Why did they allow the equipment if they had a problem?”

Assistant municipal commissioner of H-West ward P Satkale said the building was not on BMC dilapidated buildings watch. “We have asked them to conduct a fresh audit as the structure would not have collapsed if it were not weak.

The structure has weakened — the flooring is unsound and the steel beams have corroded because of its proximity to sea. The tenants did complain to the flat-owner that the floor was sagging,” he said,adding that senior officials from the civic building proposals

department visited the site.

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