CLOSE TO three weeks after a 10-year-old girl died after a concrete slab fell on her from a multi-storey building, police on November 29 arrested a builder for allegedly halting the construction of the building under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), and not installing safety nets that could have prevented the incident.
However, the accused was produced before court that granted him bail the same day. Police have also named three other builders in the FIR that was registered soon after the incident. The FIR was registered on charges of causing death due to negligence and endangering personal safety of others, among other sections.
Police identified the arrested accused as Jatin Mehta (63), associated with Arihant Realtors.
According to police, they are yet to ascertain where the slab fell from. Sushil Kamble, senior inspector of Tilak Nagar police station, said, “Based on preliminary investigation, we arrested Mehta on Friday. He was produced before the Vikhroli magistrate court that granted him bail the same day.”
The incident took place on November 18 when Pratibha Shingare, the daughter of an employee of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation, was returning to the multi-storey SRA building, where she resided with her maternal aunt and uncle.
The building construction had not been completed and, hence, some floors did not have flats. As the girl was walking in, a concrete block fell on her. She was rushed to Rajawadi hospital, from where she was taken to KEM hospital. She was declared dead the next day. Following this, residents of the building staged a protest outside the Tilak Nagar police station where an FIR was registered against the builders.
Kamble said since the construction work had not been completed, the developers should have put safety nets or grills, as per the law, which were missing. Apart from that, police were now trying to find out where the concrete block fell from, Kamble added.
Police said they found that several residents of the building kept similar concrete blocks on clothes that were kept out for drying in the lobby.
“So far, we have spoken to residents of the building to see if anyone saw the concrete block falling. However, we have found no answers. Investigation is on,” Kamble said.
Besides, police added, they have also called SRA officials to get the paperwork on the construction of the SRA building and get sketches of the plot to find out about the agreement reached with the developers.
Calls to Arihant Realtors for a comment went unanswered.