The civic body claimed that the building was declared dangerous in 2017 and notices had been issued to both the residents and the Mhada.
Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) on Tuesday blamed each other for the collapse of Kesarbai Building, which caused the deaths of at least 11 people, including four women and a child.
The civic body claimed that the building was declared dangerous in 2017 and notices had been issued to both the residents and the Mhada. However, the Mhada responded that it had also issued evacuation notices to residents.
Later, on Tuesday evening, the Mhada claimed that the building, which was declared dangerous two years ago, was evacuated last year itself and the structure that came crashing down on Tuesday was actually an illegal extension of the said building.
Also, locals claimed that the original tenants had rented out their apartments in the building after evacuating their houses.
According to the BMC, the civic body had carried out a structural audit of the building in 2017 after an RTI was filed by one M.N. Damani, who sought information on the status of the building. After the structural audit, the municipal corporation served a notice to Kesarbai Building in August 2017.
The BMC made public a letter written in 2017 asking for the evacuation of the building. “In the event of any mishap, this office won’t be responsible,” stated the civic body in the letter.
Mhada also clarified that after the building was served the notice of evacuation, residents of the building as well as of the illegal extension vacated the premises.
“The part of the building which is registered with the Mhada is a cessed one and its residents had been served a notice by us in 2018 to vacate it. Nothing has happened to that portion of the building and the part of the structure that collapsed on Tuesday was the illegal bit,” a Mhada official said.
Maharashtra’s minister of housing, Radha Krishna Vikhe-Patil, said, “The situation is very grave. We are concentrating on saving maximum lives. It was an illegal building and we are looking into every aspect of the situation to uncover the people responsible. Nearby buildings have been vacated.”