Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will now have to spend `20 lakh to demolish the building in Someshwaranagar near NIMHANS that partially collapsed killing three people and injuring eight others on August 19. The ground floor caved in due to overload and alleged violations in construction by the builder.
BBMP Executive Engineer S V Rajesh told Express: “The amount has been fixed according to the PWD guidelines. The area is big. To demolish each square metre, it will cost `650. If transportation charges and services are also included, it will cost `20 lakh. The decision to demolish two adjacent buildings, which also have extra unauthorised floors, will be taken after a report by the private construction testing expert Civil-Aid. It is likely to come on Tuesday.”
Rajesh said that the BBMP will recover this amount from the builder later. It also will issue notices to builders of other such buildings for violation of the bylaws. “We will first deal with this building and later identify others,” he added.
Krishna Murthy, engineer with a private building demolition service agency that will do the job for the BBMP, said the building has to be demolished manually. “So far, only three floors have been demolished. The rest will also be done carefully, no machines will be used to demolish as the roads are narrow,” he added.
Meanwhile, the builder of the collapsed building, Mohammed Saleem, who was absconding after the incident, surrendered to the Siddapura police on Monday after obtaining anticipatory bail from a fast-track court.
Saleem alias Chair Saleem, along with his wife Fathima Begum and son Mohammed Mudasir, who are also the board of directors of the construction firm R K Gold Developers obtained anticipatory bail on Saturday. He was questioned for a while and was sent back, police said.
Saleem told Express: “I will negate the damages for the unfortunate incident. The surrounding houses will be renovated and the affected here will be given all assistance. The customers will be refunded or accommodated in other buildings. I execute projects through my engineers and so have no knowledge about any violation. The BBMP demolished my property without my permission.”
No Relief for Evicted People
On August 19, the ground floor of the under-construction building being built by R K Builders collapsed. The BBMP Commissioner wrote to the Disaster Management Coordinator Cell on the same day. As many as 23 National Disaster Response Force personnel from different regions were deputed to monitor the demolition work and to prevent any untoward incidences and causalities.
The people in the surrounding houses were told to leave and `30,000 was supposed to have been given by the BBMP as a transit arrangement for a few months. About 17 families have moved, but no money has reached them so far.
A resident of an adjacent building, Mohammed Kafeel, said,”We are living in a cement sheet house. After the building collapse, we were assured of some facilities till this mess is cleared. But nothing has happened. The builder is out on bail, and still out of our reach.”