After The Indian Express reported that the firm that constructed the concrete wall that collapsed at two locations in Malad (East) killing 27 was under the scanner for the 2015 nullah de-silting scam, Opposition party corporators on Friday demanded a FIR to be registered against contractors and BMC officials for negligence.
Corporators have alleged that officials were in connivance with the contractor, Omkar Engineers and Contractors, that bagged the contract to build the 2.3-km protection wall around BMC’s Malad Hill reservoir, despite an inquiry pending against the latter.
“The firm was given the contract in December 2015, but at the same time it was facing inquiry in the de-silting scam. The firm was blacklisted in 2016, only after bagging the contract of the wall construction. BMC officials had deliberately held back the blacklisting process to help the firm receive the new contract. The wall is also in the Defect Liability Period (DLP), hence the contractor is responsible for any defect in the wall,”said Ravi Raja during the Standing Committee meeting on Friday.
He added, “The firm was facing inquiry for nullah de-silting in 2015. Civic officials should have known about malpractices in de-silting work. But some officials helped them and withheld the blacklisting process only to give the contract to the firm. This is an unfortunate incident and along with the contractor and the officials, criminal charges against the consultant who had approved designs should be pressed.”
Following the corporators’ demand, Standing Committee chairman Yashvant Jadhav has ordered the civic body to file an FIR against those responsible for the incident.
On July 2, a boundary wall at Ambedkar Nagar and Pimpri Pada in Malad’s Kurar village collapsed around 12.30 am. While 27 people died in the mishap, one continues to be missing. Samajwadi Party corporator Rais Shaikh said that the civic body should immediately give temporary accommodation to people whose homes were washed away by the rainwater gushing downslope after the season’s heaviest downpour. “These are poor people and the civic body should provide them shelter immediately. Also, action against the local ward officer during whose tenure these shanties have come up should also be taken as he failed to prevent them,”said Shaikh.
On July 5, The Indian Express reported that how at the time when Omkar Engineers and Contractors had been awarded the contract for building the wall, the firm was facing an inquiry for the multi-crore de-silting scam