A building in narrow Juna Mahajan Vado pol in Kalupur here, which was being demolished by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) for the last three days, collapsed, killing a 50-year-old man and injuring nine others in the wee hours of Friday. Soon after the incident, AMC slapped 11 houses in the pol with a notice, asking the residents to evacuate within 24 hours.
Victim Shankar, who hailed from Rajasthan, was asleep in an empty room of a house near the building when it collapsed around 4 am,” said a local, Abhijit Adak.
Members of the pol started helping those buried under the debris before the fire department officials reached and started the rescue operation. The injured were taken to V S Hospital from where they were discharged after first aid. Adak said they do not know much about Shankar’s family. “A few people from Rajasthan came over and collected his body. Shankar would accompany children to the bus stops and run errands for houses and in turn the entire pol would take care of his food and lodging,” added Adak who lives in a neighbouring house on rent. His rented house is among the buildings, which have been slapped with the evacuation notice. Adak, who belongs to Calcutta, lives with five other men from the city in two rooms. The men, who work in a silver-polishing unit, pay Rs 4,000 rent for the rooms. “We do not know where we will go. Our wage for the day will also be cut as we came rushing from our factories. We have to sleep on footpath till we find another place,” said Biswajeet Kar, one of Adak’s roommates.
“The problem started around three days ago when a small portion of a wall of the house collapsed. We asked the residents to call the AMC, which decided to demolish the house. The entire building, however, collapsed while the demolition was underway,” said Kalpesh Nayak, a local rickshaw-puller, who was among the first to rush for help.
When asked about the last-minute notices, AMC’s Deputy Estate Officer Ramesh Desai said there was no threat earlier. “We are telling people about the dangers of living in such old houses but no one co-operates. We can’t throw them out. They will have to repair their own houses,” he said.
On the other hand, the AMC team demolished a house in Shahpur on Thursday night.