A 10-storey building situated a few metres from the Pydhonie police station in Mumbai and believed to have been funded by the underworld has been completed in just 45 days. What’s more, the contractors were only given approvals to carry out minor repairs on a dilapidated ground plus one structure.
An assistant engineer from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said the building owner, Uttamchand Jain not only defaulted on the time aspect and conditions laid down by the Housing Authority, he went ahead and added floors illegally.
The BMC officials received repeated complaints about the blatant violations of the builders, but they did nothing about the illegal building or the owner, as the underworld money and muscle power made sure everyone would look the other way. The builders say it is the police’s responsibility to prevent illegal construction, and they were informed and asked to tackle the encroachment.
Police say when the BMC asks for help they are given the means and it is their job to make sure encroachment and demolition of an illegal construction is removed.
All this aside, the Pydhonie building is an engineering marvel that used a rudimentary format that experts say is unsafe and susceptible to a pancake collapse, that should not have been built with more than three storeys.
Unfortunately Mumbai has seen several instances in which many lives have been lost in building collapses largely due to corruption.