Ritambhara Rai Bhattarai,

Correspondent (Asia: South)


MUMBAI — A five-storey building that collapsed in Mazagaon area in Mumbai on September 27, 2013 has left 61 people dead. At 6:00 am the apartment block where around 100 people resided crumbled down, the cause of which is still unknown.The family of the dead will be receiving a compensation of Rs. 2 lakhs.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team faced difficulties in pulling out the survivors due to irregular rainfall this season. The Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) disaster management team filed a case against the owner of the office on the ground floor of the building for unauthorised construction. Authorities say that the central wall and support beams from the ground floor were removed, which led to the disaster. The four floors above were mostly occupied by the city trash collectors and labourers. Officials say that the Municipality had asked the residence to vacate the building earlier this year.

This collapse is recorded as the fifth deadliest collapse this year in Mumbai. The low construction standard, rent control rules and corruption are the common reasons among the building collapse. In India, it is not illegal for tenants to live in rent for minimum cost once they have lived in a particular place for a long period of time. This leaves the owner with little incentive to manage the properties maintenance.While building the apartments low quality materials are used for construction and most of the construction work is done manually since it is rather economic, thus compromising on safety.

This building, which was built in the 80’s, was home to 22 families. There are numerous buildings in Mumbai that urgently require repairs, yet people still live in them due to high rental and property prices. Mumbai is among the most expensive cities in Asia and 60% of the total population of this city lives in the slums and shanty towns.


Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons (Kumarrakajee)