Mumbai

Mini landslide buries 11 cars in Wadala; no one injured

Taking stock: Residents of Lloyd’s Estate gather to check the damage after part of the compound collapsed on Monday.

Taking stock: Residents of Lloyd’s Estate gather to check the damage after part of the compound collapsed on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe

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Residents of two wings evacuated as precaution; society blames construction work in adjacent plot; builder says damage was caused by heavy rainfall

A portion of the compound wall and internal road of Lloyd’s Estate, a housing society in Wadala, collapsed as the underlying soil slipped towards a neighbouring construction pit around 4 a.m. on Monday. No residents were injured, but 11 cars were stuck in the rubble.

The Fire Brigade evacuated 120 families in the D wing of Wadala Heights, the building closest to the collapse. Later, they evacuated C wing residents as well, as a precaution. Fire brigade personnel recovered around five cars with a crane; the rest are still buried under debris.

Ajay Singh Rathod, a resident of D wing who witnessed the incident, said, “It was around 4 a.m. I heard a loud noise, and looked outside. To my horror, I saw the parking floor slowly slipping down with parked cars. I immediately warned all my neighbours and we evacuated the building.”

Legal battle

Lloyd’s Estate residents allege that construction work in an adjacent plot, being developed by Dosti Realty — with whom they have an ongoing legal battle — caused the collapse. But Dosti Realty has claimed the incident was caused by heavy rain.

In 2016, the parking area ‘settled’ a few feet, and its walls developed cracks. Residents believed that this was due to Dosti Realty’s construction work and sent the developer a legal notice and appealed to the court to halt construction. The plea was not granted by the city civil court hearing the matter; it directed Court Commissioner Shantilal Jain to investigate and ascertain the residents’ claim. The report is awaited.

Lloyd’s Estate residents said that every time they filed complaints, Dosti Realty would send engineers and convince them that the building was not endangered. But, they say, the damage is evident. “One can see cracks on all walls and the land below is highly uneven,” said Sanjay Sharma, a resident. “The builder had permission to dig a pit up to 40 feet deep, but it has gone up to 60 feet. This caused soil to become loose.”

Premkor Singh Rathod, a resident whose car was damaged, said, “Everyone here is traumatised. People would have lost their lives if this had happened in the daytime. We will not give up fighting until [Dosti Realty] repairs the damage.”

FIR against builder

On Monday another resident, Simran Parmar, filed a police complaint against the builder, and the Antop Hill police registered an FIR against Dosti Realty for endangering life and safety due to negligence. “We want the builder to stop construction and rehabilitate all 240 flat owners as the safety of our building has been compromised,” Ms. Parmar told The Hindu. “The society is waiting for the court commissioner’s report, but what if something had happened to one of us today? This is criminal neglect. ”

Construction halted

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation issued a letter to the builder. “We have asked the builder to stop work and enforce the recommendations of the structural engineer. Until then no work can be done,” said Rajan Poddar, deputy chief engineer, Building Proposals.

A Dosti Realty spokesperson said, “…as the matter is sub judice, we immediately requested the court to direct the Court Commissioner, Mr. Shantilal Jain, to visit the site and give his interim report and suggest remedial measures. The Court Commissioner has visited the site, suggested some interim remedial measures and have inter alia confirmed that as society building is resting on pile foundation, this event of caving in is not going to affect the structural stability of society building. We have already started work on the remedial measures suggested by the Court Commissioner.”

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 4:17:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/mini-landslide-buries-11-cars-in-wadala-no-one-injured/article24256833.ece

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