The collapse of a part of the Jilani building in Bhiwandi has not only impacted the lives of its residents but also of people who stay in the adjacent structures.
Hours after the collapse on Monday, the Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation cut off electricity supply to neighbouring Patel building, Rashid Janab building and Siddiqui Patel building, ordering the residents to vacate the structures.
Worried residents claimed the order to vacate has come as a surprise. “They are neither providing us with accommodation in transit homes nor giving us time. We don’t know what to do. As of now, we have shifted our families and valuables to our relatives’ places in Bhiwandi,” said
Attaur Rehman Shaikh, a welder who had been residing in Patel building for 34 years after purchasing the flat for Rs 64,000 in 1986.
“In the last 34 years, I have seen just one notice, which was pasted on the building by the corporation in late 2018. We carried out renovation work, following which the corporation conducted a survey and we were told that we can stay on,” he added.
Shaikh claimed since then no notice had been issued and there was no verbal communication between the residents and the civic body.
However, civic body officials arrived at the building around 12.15 am on Tuesday and cut off electricity supply.
Another building that was vacated by the municipal corporation was Rashid Janab building.
Resident Imran Khan, who works as a driver, said he has shifted his children to his friend’s office nearby and sent his wife to her native place in Nashik.
“My brother stays at Patel building. After Jilani building collapsed, they were told to vacate on Monday afternoon. So, I got his family to my house. But around 2.30 am, civic body officials showed up at our building and cut off power supply,” he added.
The residents said the building is 24 years old and the last notice they had received from the corporation was in 2019, following which they had carried out repairs. “If there is a problem in the building, give us some time, we will renovate it. But cutting off electricity is not a solution,” said resident Yusuf Rehemtulla.
“My son is a final-year Bachelor in Arts students and his exams are going to start from October 1. I want him to study and earn money so that he can settle in a better locality. Now, he is tensed and I am worried,” he added.
Pankaj Ashiya, Commissioner of Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation, said that often people prefer to stay in dilapidated buildings due to low rent. “The three buildings had to be vacated for the safety of the residents. In many cases, people vacate the structure during the day time, only to return to their houses by night,” he added.
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