A day after a slab collapse in Goregaon claimed two lives and injured six people, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has now decided to undertake a structural audit of the 47-year-old Prasad Shopping Centre at Kakaji Nagar, opposite Goregaon Station.
Around a month ago, the civic body had issued notices under section 353 (B) of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation, Act of 1888 to the two privately-owned buildings in the locality, that house more than 75 shops and close to 50 families, to conduct a structural audit of the buildings built in 1966.
“The owners ignored the notices to conduct the mandatory structural audit of the buildings. We have started removing the illegal signboards on the shops and the canopy which has made the buildings structurally-heavy and vulnerable,” said a senior civic official from the P/South ward, that includes Goregaon.
Around 25 labourers from the civic body started demolishing the signboards and the canopy on Wednesday morning. According to structural audit policy and provisions under Section 353 (B) of the BMC Act, it is obligatory for the owner and occupants of buildings more than 30 years old to have them inspected by a qualified structural engineer registered with the BMC, get repairs done as suggested by the engineer, and submit the completion certificate along with the structural fitness certificate to the municipal corporation.
Additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh said, “We have issued more than 3,000 notices to dilapidated buildings in the city to conduct structural audits. Most of the time, we face resistance from the tenants of privately-owned structures who put the onus of the audit on the owner of the building, leading to such unfortunate incidents.”
Due to heavy rainfall on Tuesday night, a portion of the slab collapsed, killing a shopkeeper Nasir Shaikh (32) and a vegetable vendor, Parashuram Yadav (16). Of the six injured, Amar Pednekar (44), Prafulla Arya (25) and Sagar Shaikh (17) have been admitted to the Siddharth Hospital, while Taslim Shaikh (11), V L Waru (51) and Akaram Shaikh (13) have been admitted to the Nair Hospital.
Four fire engines were immediately rushed to the spot and the rescue operations continued till 4.30 am on Wednesday, as per the civic body’s disaster department. The civic body has also filed a complaint against the developer, Manoj Jain in the Goregaon police station.
“Many of the vegetable vendors sit outside the shops late in the evening. We rushed to the spot after hearing a loud noise. As the slab was very heavy, we could not lift it, failing to rescue the people on time,” said an owner of a shop in the building.According to a medical officer in civic-run Siddharth hospital, Goregaon, all the three patients admitted are stable. Prafulla Arya suffered a cut in his right arm and Sagar Shaikh has a fracture in his ankle. Amar Pednekar (44) who sustained a deep cut on his foot and has two scalp injuries, is also recovering in Siddharth hospital.
However, three critical patients–Taslim Shaikh (11) V L Waru (51) and Akaram Shaikh (13)– were transferred to Nair hospital for treatment due to lack of advanced facilities in Siddharth hospital. Dr R N Bharmal, dean at Nair hospital, said, “Waru and Akram Shaikh are trauma cases and are receiving care.He added that Taslim’s health is less critical and has been shifted to the general ward.