While the illegality of the seven-storey building in Mumbras Sheelphata area came to light only after it collapsed Thursday evening,the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) was well aware of the violations done by the builder. The civic administration received various complaints regarding the illegal structure and yet failed to take action.
A state government employee,Mangal Patil,posted in the ward in Sheelphata had complained to the TMC repeatedly about the illegal building that collapsed on Thursday. Patil sent the first complaint in February this year when the builder had just begun the construction activity.
I had informed authorities including the Municipal Commissioner and the Chief Ministers Office about the illegal buildings in ward 64-B,which also included this building which collapsed. I intimated them thrice February 7,March 7 and March 18 about 100 illegal structures and also texted and faxed them the information. Even after repeated complaints,the civic officials failed to take any action, said Patil. The builder was putting up slab after slab without giving it few days to settle. In a matter of less than a month few floors had come up.
He said in his ward itself,which has about 7,000 population,there are over 100 illegal buildings. The illegal buildings thrive and mushroom on the back of a strong builder-politician-civic official-police nexus. There is no strict mechanism to check such illegal activity.
Thane Municipal Commissioner R A Rajeev said,There are at least 2,000 buildings illegally built in Mumbra,one of the most difficult areas both socially and communally under the TMC. Explaining the modus operandi,he said,Construction happens mostly without architect consultancy and planning. The tenants who usually rent out flats also help builders bring the raw materials to construct the building.