Portion of rickety building collapses in Bhayandar

Bhayandar: In yet another incident which exposes the chinks in the structural audit mechanism of the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC), the portion of a rickety building in Bhayandar collapsed and the debris blocked the staircase and entrance to around 40 flats. Fortunately, no one was injured, even as around 150 trapped residents were safely rescued by the fire brigade personnel after a four-hour-long operation that involved access and exit from the adjacent wing. The incident was reported from Satya Vijay Shopping Centre in the Goddev area of Bhayandar at around 9.30pm on Tuesday.

A portion of the first floor collapsed blocking the staircase of the more than two-decade-old structure, which is in existence since the gram panchayat regime and houses residential apartments and a string of commercial establishments, including eateries on the ground floor. Although in an extremely dilapidated condition, the building mysteriously did not fare in the list of dangerous structures, recently declared by the MBMC. However, it had been slapped with a notice to conduct a structural audit nearly six after mandated repair works were carried out in 2013, officials said.

Ironically, the civic administration was still waiting for reports, not only exposing the laxity in the structural audit system but also posing 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 about the inspections and recommended corrective repairs needed for structural stability.

- Suresh Golani

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