FOLLOWING directions by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, officials of the building proposal department have said they will approve the redevelopment proposal of the collapsed Siddhi Sai Apartments on priority.
Residents of the building said they are yet to make such a proposal, and are waiting for the temporary alternative accommodation that state promised them. Officials in the building proposal department said that since the building already has an occupation certificate (OC), once the application for redevelopment has been submitted, the time to process it should not take longer than a week.
“The OC was issued to the building back in 1983. They still have FSI they can utilise, as they have not used up the FSI of 2 they are allowed. Since this is a case of accident, keeping the best interest of the residents in mind, once they submit a proposal, we can process it in the Auto DCR system on priority. It won’t take longer than eight days to grant the approval,” said the official.
However, the residents’ immediate concern is to secure a roof above their heads before they can start planning the re-development of the building. Binita Ramchandani, daughter of one of the injured, Geeta Ramchandani, said that the residents have mostly been living in their neighbours’ or relatives’ homes.
“We definitely want to work out a plan for a permanent home, but where should we go and stay now? Nothing has happened since the CM met us and assured us that we would be given temporary accommodation,” she said.
Ramchandani added that they have been scrambling for the past couple of days to put their lives back together.
“I have just managed to salvage some of my mother’s clothes from the remains of the building. Since so much has happened, some of us think its a better idea to hand the redevelopment over to the government. We fear being swindled by a developer. The residents will meet on Saturday and discuss the plan for the future,” she said.
Blaming Sunil Shitap, the owner of flats on the ground floor of the building to which he had allegedly made illegal alterations, Ramchandani said that many residents had predicted the building collapse before it happened.
“My mother had been telling us that Shitap would end up bringing the building down with all the work that would go on in his flats for more than 12 hours a day. Little did she know that she would be right and she would end up being injured. Shitap is lucky to have escaped the building collapse himself, since my father had seen him leaving the building just minutes before the it crashed down,” she said.