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  Metros   Mumbai  01 Sep 2017  Residents refused rehab offer

Residents refused rehab offer

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Sep 1, 2017, 1:46 am IST
Updated : Sep 1, 2017, 1:46 am IST

Around 37 were injured, while around 5 to 6 — including workers of a ground-floor sweet shop — are suspected to be trapped beneath the debris.

Rescue personnel uncover a body trapped in the debris on Thursday. (Photo: Rajesh Jadhav)
 Rescue personnel uncover a body trapped in the debris on Thursday. (Photo: Rajesh Jadhav)

Mumbai: The Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) had shifted seven families of the ill-fated Hussaini building — which housed 12 residential and one commercial tenant — in 2013-14, but the remaining occupants didn’t take up its offer.

According to a statement released by the trust, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) had issued notices dated March 28, 2011 and May 20, 2016, declaring the building dilapidated. After receiving the first notice, the trust obtained an NOC for redevelopment from Mhada and offered transit accommodation to its occupants.

Many residents, however, chose to stay behind, which proved fatal on Thursday morning when their home came crashing down, killing 25 people.

Around 37 were injured, while around 5 to 6 — including workers of a ground-floor sweet shop — are suspected to be trapped beneath the debris.

Around five families occupied the building and a sweet shop, popularly known as ‘Tavakkal’, occupied the ground floor premises. “It is true that the developer was giving alternate accommodation, but we did not want to move as we already had bought a house at Dockyard Road and were preparing to move there shortly,” said Ismail Mushram, a survivor.

The Mhada had given an NOC to the developer in 2011, agter which the building was the responsibility of the developer i.e. SBUT. “Once we gave the NOC to the developer, it was his responsibility to carry out a timely eviction,” said a Mhada official who was present at the site.

While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) usually cuts off the electricity and water supply of such buildings, this was also not done despite two notices being released by the housing authority. BMC officials, however, pointed fingers at Mhada.

“Mhada declared it dilapidated and also sent notices under its name, so naturally Mhada is solely responsible for cutting off the electricity and water supply,” said Jivak Ghegadmal, assistant municipal commissioner of the ‘C’ ward.  However, a Mhada official said the responsibility lay with the developer, who’s in charge of redevelopment.

Meanwhile, housing minister Prakash Mehta, who visited the site on Tuesday, emphasised the need for a law that would enable forceful eviction. “After such devastating incidents occurring repeatedly in our city, it has become necessary to form a law which would be concerned with forceful eviction,” he said.

Tags: mhada, prakash mehta, saifee burhani upliftment trust (sbut)