A 55-year-old woman died after the wall of a public toilet collapsed in Naupada, Kurla west, on Monday. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said it will check if there was any negligence by the contractor as the toilet was undergoing demolition.
The woman has been identified as Draupadi Rawale, resident of a nearby slum. According to locals, Draupadi and three other women had gone to the toilet around 7.30 am. A wall dividing the male and female sections fell on them. The Mumbai Fire Brigade was called for rescue operation.
“While the other three suffered minor injuries and managed to come out of the debris, Draupadi’s leg was stuck for more than two hours before the fire brigade rescued her. She had also received injuries on her head,” said an official from L ward.
She was taken to Rajawadi hospital where doctors declared her dead. Draupadi lived with her daughter and son. BMC officials said since demolition work was on, it had put up a notice cautioning people not to use the toilet.
Local BJP corporator Harish Bhandigre said the portion for males was demolished last week and the portion for women was supposed to be demolished this week. “On Thursday, demolition of six toilet seats on the male side was started and completed by Saturday. Demolition of the portion for women was supposed to start today,” said Bhandigre.
He added, “I will write to BMC demanding compensation for the deceased’s family.”
Civic officials said there was opposition from locals to the demolition which delayed the work. “Although there are enough toilets in the area, locals were resisting the demolition. We had also put a notice board warning people not to use it as work was under progress. We will also check if there was any negligence on the contractor’s part and how these women were using the toilet despite the notice,” said Manish Valunje, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, L ward (Kurla).
Earlier, the BMC had done a structural audit of public toilets which found more than 50 per cent to be dilapidated. The audit was done after two people were killed after a toilet collapsed in Bhandup in April 2018. Maximum 346 dilapidated community toilet blocks were found in M-east (Govandi, Mankhurd) that needed to be demolished and reconstructed.
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