MUMBAI: Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday described various measures to ensure structural safety of buildings as he replied to the debate over the building collapse in both Houses of Maharashtra legislature.
Devendra Fadnavis also stated that the government would soon bring a new policy to ensure structural safety of buildings during redevelopment.
“The government has provided the kin of the Ghatkopar disaster victims with Rs two lakh and Rs one lakh to the injured. The government will also bear the cost of their treatment. The building would be redeveloped under special task and houses would be provided to those who lost their homes yesterday,” Devendra Fadnavis said.
“Prima facie it appears that the renovation at the ground floor caused the disaster and hence the people involved have been arrested. A committee has been formed to look into the case. Their report is expected to come in two week’s time after which the government would take action under charges of culpable homicide if necessary,” he told both the houses.
The building that collapsed on Tuesday was 36 years old. Devendra Fadnavis assured the House that the government would develop a digital database that would be made compulsory for buildings older than 30 years to get the structural audit done at regular intervals.
Procedures for building construction too would be made online. A new system that would encompass all old and dilapidated buildings and also fix responsibilities of various civic officials will be developed. Necessary changes will be made in respective legislations very soon, he assured the legislature.
Members from both the Houses of legislature lashed out at the government, the city civic administration and the Shiv Sena-the ruling civic body for over 25 years- as they spoke on the issue under suspension motion over the issue.
Leader of opposition in the legislative assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said that the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has become a private company and blamed the illegal construction and alterations for the collapse. While blaming the Shiv Sena for the disaster, he also targeted the BJP by asking whether the watchdogs were slipping while all these wrongs things were happening.
NCP MLA Jitendra Avhad named BMC officials from Ghatkopar allegedly involved in permissions for illegal structures not only in the collapsed building but even in other structures in the area. BJP's Colaba MLA Raj Purohit said that illegal constructions were on in hundreds of buildings in his constituency.
Shiv Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu said that not a single complaint was registered against the illegal construction in the building.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader Sunil Shitap who owned the nursing home on the ground floor which was being renovated and against whom a case of culpable homicide was registered on Tuesday was arrested on Wednesday morning.
The death toll rose to 17 on Wednesday while 28 persons were rescued, nine of whom are under treatment.