Mumbai:  A massive fire broke out in the Metro House building on the Colaba Causeway, a busy commercial street in south Mumbai .Photo by BL SONI
Mumbai: A massive fire broke out in the Metro House building on the Colaba Causeway, a busy commercial street in south Mumbai .Photo by BL SONI

Mumbai: The fire which broke out on Thursday in Metro House has raised a concern in the minds of the occupants that this fire done on purpose? The building was served a notice by the Bombay Port Trust (BPT) about the illegal alternations done in the building but no action was taken later on. However, the 9 occupants of the A wing of the Abubakr Mansion, also known as Metro House, have been staying in their relatives house or in hotels as there is no other alternative planned for them by the BMC, MHADA or BPT.

The MHADA yesterday has served a notice to the Metro House stating to carry out a structural audit of the building at the earliest. Meanwhile, the human entry has been closed and will be open for the occupants and the hawkers after an OK certificate is received from MHADA. The engineer of MHADA, Dilip Garje mentioned, “We are ready to shift the occupants to the transit camps in any place available in the city on the temporary basis.”

Kavita Shivpuri, an occupant of the third floor, said, “How can one expect that we can stay in a 250 square feet house after staying in a 3,000 square feet house. Even if they plan to shift us they should shift us in the Colaba vicinity with at least half the square feet house we are currently residing in.”

Another resident, on the condition of anonymity, said, “Our entire work culture will go for a toss if we are shifted by MHADA somewhere far. Most of us have our businesses or offices located in South Mumbai. We are staying in hotels were we only go to sleep from morning 9 am to night 10 pm. We are just roaming in the area to see what the fire officials are doing.”

Cooling operation still on

A senior fire official said, “We can still feel the heat on the second floor, so we are continuing with the cooling operation and are not allowing anyone to enter the premises. The road from Regal cinema to Electric house will be open for motorist only after the cooling operation is over.”

Whether insured or not?

The fire which took place in the Metro House on Thursday afternoon has raised many questions in the minds of the occupants as well as the owners of the shops regarding the insurance of the entire structure which is still not clear. As most of the documents have been burnt in fire out of the nine residents three of them say that the building is insured while the rest say they are not aware of it. Sanjay Devagudi, a shop owner in the building, says, “The Metro house is insured since the time it was handed over to the Metro by the BPT somewhere in 1980’s.”

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