Mumbai: A newly-constructed rehabilitation building at Pankeshah Baba Dargah, Ghatkopar (West), has developed cracks even before rehabilitating the slum dwellers. The rehab structure is just a stone’s throw away from Siddhi Sai building which recently collapsed claiming the lives of more than 15 occupants. The residents of the slum have been demanding a structural audit of the building, however, officials of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority have failed to conduct any inquiry into the matter.
The developer, Rockline Constructions, has allegedly threatened slum dwellers with dire consequences if they report this matter to the authorities. The structure was part of the slum rehabilitation project wherein more than 500 slum dwellers were supposed to be rehabilitated. The entire project was mired in controversy after an inquriy revealed that nearly 115 occupants were housed on forged documents. Around 160 families which were the original residents of the slum were termed ineligible for the rehabilitation scheme.
The authorities in connivance with the developer allegedly carried out irregularities in preparing the list of eligible beneficiaries. Meanwhile, the developer had constructed another structure to shift rest of the slum dwellers which has developed huge cracks. Nasir Khan, resident of the slum, said that they had complained about the shoddy work in 2016 to the SRA.
“The officials even visited the site on our complaint and stated that the developer has used substandard materials to construct this building. However, despite issuing stop work notice to the developer, the officials let the developer continue with the ongoing work.” The Free Press Journal was the first to report that the shoddy project was bagged by Rockline Constructions in which former SRA CEO Vishwas Patil’s wife is a shareholder. Reacting on our report, the state government has initiated an inquiry against the irregularities carried out in the project.