The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) have blamed each other for the tragic Dongri building collapse, that claimed the lives of at least 14 people.
While the civic body maintains that it classified the building as dangerous during an audit in 2017 and served notices to that effect to both residents and MHADA, the latter has said that it has also issued evacuation notices to occupants.
The BMC had audited Kesarbhai building two years back after an RTI seeking information about the structure’s condition was filed by M.N. Damani.
Following the audit, the civic body classified the building in the “C1 category”, implying that the building was meant to be evacuated for demolition at the earliest.
After yesterday’s mishap, it made public the notice sent to residents in 2017 asking them to evacuate the building. “In the event of any mishap, this office won’t be responsible,” the letter said.
The municipal authority also said that MHADA was responsible for maintaining the building.
MHADA, meanwhile, has claimed that after the building was served the notice of evacuation, residents of the building as well as of the illegal extension vacated the premises last year. The portion that collapsed, however, was the illegal extension.
“The part of the building which is registered with the MHADA is a cessed one and its residents had been served a notice by us in 2018 to vacate it. Nothing has happened to that portion of the building and the part of the structure that collapsed on Tuesday was the illegal bit,” an MHADA official was quoted as saying.
The development authority’s assertions are in line with some locals, who have claimed that the original tenants evacuated the building but continued to rent out apartments.
Meanwhile, several nearby buildings, that are also in a dilapidated condition, have been evacuated.
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