A day after Kesarbai Mansion collapsed, residents in neighbouring buildings at Dongri are living under a cloud of fear. Several people vacated their flats Tuesday night, while a few others stayed back in their dilapidated flats, saying they have “nowhere else to go”.
“We knew sooner or later one of the buildings (in the area) would come down leading to mass casualty,” Abdul Sattar Shaikh, a resident, said.
Sixty five-year-old Rizwana Teenwala, who stays on the ground floor of building number 25C, located next to Kesarbai Mansion, said her husband earns only Rs 6,000 a month. “He works in Sewri and we don’t have anywhere else to go. The authorities have issued a notice declaring that our building is in a dilapidated condition. But where do we go?”
The local residents alleged that in January 2018, they had approached the MHADA asking them to improve the condition of their buildings.
“Last year, we had written to (some) ministers, the MHADA and our developer, requesting them to renovate the building, but our pray fell to deaf ears. After the (Kesarbai) building collapsed yesterday, we have not be able to sleep all night fearing that our building might collapse anytime,” Huzoor Anware, a resident of Malika Manzil at 4 Tandel Cross Lane in Dongri, said.
Soon after the incident, power supply to Malika Manzil was disconnected on Tuesday and the authorities asked the residents to vacate the flats. Most of the residents have vacated their houses and taken refuge with their relatives.
“There are 13 flats in the building (Malika Manzil) and only three families are currently staying in the building. Instead of repairing the leakages in the walls, the authorities are asking us to move out. I have spent all my childhood in this locality, how do they expect us to leave suddenly. We have been fighting with our developer to either redevelop or renovate the building, but nothing has happened so far,” Mohamed Ali, another resident of Malika Manzil, said.
Danish Palte, a resident of building number 8 at 4 Tandel Cross Lane, located near the Kesarbai building, said, “Often a part of the building keeps falling. So we have been living under a cloud of fear as well. If the authorities stop blaming each other and start taking action then the 13 people killed in the (Kesarbai) building collapse would have been with us today.”