The collapse of an eight-storey building in Thane that claimed 74 lives is a grim reminder of the collapse of values, ethics, and principles in all walks of life. The victims, as always, were the lesser mortals. The perpetrators — the mighty — were, as usual, far away, safe from the dangers they created for others. Unless we eliminate corruption, such accidents will remain mere statistics.

Mallela Trivedi,

Machilipatnam

The sudden collapse of the building is another addition to the long list of national shame. It has set off a blame game with officials blaming all others except themselves. That such illegal construction is ignored by officials as long as they are pleased by builders is a matter of grave concern. Thane, of course, is not an isolated case since corruption is all-pervasive.

B. Madhava Murthy,

Hyderabad

Whenever a major tragedy strikes, the government orders an inquiry into it to water down the seriousness of the disaster. Suggestions to avert similar mishaps are never implemented. The prevalence of high level corruption in the local bodies and politics makes a mockery of rules and norms.

O.G. Krishnamurthy,

Chennai

It was shocking to hear of the collapse of the building constructed illegally using substandard material. More shocking was the news that eight floors came up in 34 days without permission from the authorities concerned.

Unfortunately, many such unauthorised constructions have mushroomed in and around Thane due to the demands of increased population and the influx of masses from other States in search of jobs. In fact, such illegal construction is on across India and there seems to be no mechanism to check it.

Vijay D. Patil,

Pune

Illegal construction is taking place in almost all cities of India with greedy builders encroaching public lands and violating all norms. Not that the authorities are unaware of it. Legal loopholes, inadequate staff to supervise and the apathy of enforcement officials are given as excuses.

A ward-level committee consisting of local residents should be constituted in major cities to monitor developments and report them to the authorities.

R. Ramanujam,

Chennai

That an eight-storey building collapsed like a house of cards killing 74 people is unbelievable. This is clearly a case of negligence on the part of corrupt municipal authorities and builders. A blame game is on between the Forest Department and the municipal authorities. But those who perished in the collapse were innocent occupants of the building.

A. Srikantaiah,

Bangalore

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