Stormy winds accompanied with heavy rains due to cyclone Tauktae led to the collapse of a rickety building in Bhayandar during the early morning hours on Tuesday. The incident was reported from Shivam Building located in the Mahesh Nagar area of Bhayandar (west) at around 5:45 am. The third floor balcony collapsed on the second and first floor leading to debris blocking the staircase and entrance to around 39 flats in the four-storey structure. 36 flats were occupied at the time of incident.
Fortunately, no one was injured, even as 72 trapped residents were safely rescued by the fire brigade personnel of the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) after a 3-hour long operation, led by chief fire officer- Prakash Borade, The more than three decade old structure which is in existence since the gram panchayat regime houses 39 residential tenements and ten commercial establishments on the ground floor.
“Due to the rigid Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms redevelopment work is not possible as of now, I have requested the civic chief to provide transit accommodation to residents in flats procured by MBMC from MMRDA under the rental housing scheme.” said local corporator- Adv. Ravi Vyas. Although in an extremely dilapidated condition, the building mysteriously did not fare in the list of dangerous structures, declared by the civic administration. However, it had been slapped with a notice to conduct a structural audit to authenticate its stability.
The residents had duly submitted the structural audit certificate claiming the structure to be fit for human habitation. However, the cave-in has not only exposed the chinks in the structural audit mechanism of the MBMC but has also posed a serious question mark on the authenticity of audits carried out by the empanelled structural auditors who are mandated to update the public works department (PWD) about the inspections and recommended corrective repairs needed for structural stability.
“The rickety structure which is located on a busy main road can pose danger to pedestrians and motorists will be razed immediately. The entire building has been evacuated and the residents have been temporarily shifted to a nearby municipal school.” said a MBMC officer.