June 13, 2013 2:49:16 am
Cracks surfaced in a four-storeyed building in Yogi Nagar,Borivali West,Wednesday morning,raising concerns about the structural safety of other buildings in the area.
Mumbai fire brigade evacuated all 60 families residing in wings A,B and C of the 33-year-old Raj Vaibhav apartments within an hour. Residents said the building was scheduled to be redeveloped in the next few months.
Around 2 am,we heard a loud noise. The building was stable but we were terrified and couldnt sleep for the rest of the night. At 6 am,we saw a major beam was on the verge of collapsing,with iron rods pushing out of the walls inside the flat and on the exterior walls, said Akshay Surve,who lives in a ground-floor flat of B-wing.
While beams on all four sides of B-wing showed signs of collapsing,two major beams of A-wing bore wide cracks. Only C-wing remained undamaged.
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The building was re-plastered 15 years ago,but the foundation has weakened since then. Patrolling policemen saw the damage and alerted us, said Sanjay Dalvi,chairman of Raj Vaibhav cooperative housing society. We checked every flat and found cracks everywhere,so we began evacuating the residents and called the fire brigade. A board has been placed outside declaring the structure to be dilapidated, said Anu Surve,another resident.
Built in 1979 for the Naval Dockyard civillian staff,the building residents had not received a notice from the BMC regarding its dilapidated status.
Assistant municipal commissioner V G Bole said he submitted his remarks on the complex to the Building Proposals department and has asked for a safety audit of all buildings in the area.
I have recommended that all three wings be demolished as soon as possible and asked for a structural audit of the colony, said Bole.
For now,the BMC has allowed us to use support to prop up the building with the help of the fire brigade and police so we can collect our belongings and move out. Many have alternate accommodation,and the rest have been put up in a nearby party hall. The water and electricity supply has already been cut, said committee chairman Dalvi.
Praful Naik,of C- wing said,Since 2004,the buildings committee members have been discussing redevelopment. After rejecting the first builders offer,we were locked in a court battle with a second developer for a few years until a Supreme Court order came in our favour in March this year. We have now settled on a third developer and have signed a development agreement.
Amisha Patel,a resident A-wing said,We were supposed to move to the developers transit accommodation in the next two months,but now we will have to move there earlier.
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