MUMBAI: Rampant encroachments and blatant violations of construction norms are being held responsible for the deaths of at least 45 people in incidents of wall collapse in Mumbai, Kalyan and Pune on Tuesday. In the suburb of Malad (East), the compound wall of BMC’s reservoir at Pimpri Pada collapsed on a few shanties late on Monday night, trapping several people. The incident was reported at around 1 am on Tuesday.
While the death toll had reached 45 by Tuesday night, 72 others have been admitted to several hospitals, where the condition of at least four is said to be critical.
A woman, who was trapped along with a child, under the debris was rescued and sent to a hospital, officials said.“Pained to know about the loss of lives in Malad wall collapse incidence. My thoughts are with families who lost loved ones & prayers for speedy recovery of injured. Rs 5 lakh will be given to the kin of deceased,” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted.'
Malad and Chandivali are areas where hill slopes have encroached and most of the encroachments have been regularised for a long time. At Chandivali the encroachments are coupled with blatant violation of construction norms, the local residents have said.
In a separate incident, at least three people were killed and one injured in a wall collapse incident early on Tuesday in Kalyan, about 40 km from Mumbai. The wall of National Urdu School, opposite Durgadi Fort in Kalyan (West), fell on the nearby hutments killing two women and a three-year-old boy. A 16-year-old girl was also injured in the accident.
Six more people were killed in Maharashtra’s Pune after a wall of Sinhgad institute at Ambegaon area collapsed on shanties housing workers. According to district collector Naval Kishore Ram, the wall gave in after a tree fell on it. Among the dead were construction labourers from Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.