Building plan violation key reason for collapse

(Above) Fire and Emergency Services personnel at the building collapse site at Hutchins Road on Wednesday. NDRF team helps recover bodies from the debris. DH PhotoS/Pushkar V

BBMP’s Maruthi Sevanagar sub-division assistant executive engineer Ravikumar said the building was constructed in 2012 and the back portion of the complex shrunk which caused the mishap.

“The building has caused the next complex to tilt. So we have evacuated four buildings in that row. We have evacuated eight families. We will demolish the two buildings that slumped,” he said.

Speaking about the cause of the mishap, Ravikumar said: “The buildings slumped as the foundation was not constructed properly on the loose soil in the backyard, which was adjacent to a graveyard. There were violations of building plan approval. The plan was sanctioned for constructing ground plus three floors. The builder had constructed ground plus four floors and penthouses atop, which is one of the reasons for the mishap. We have filed complaints against the builder, architect and owners of both slumped buildings.”

Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara visited the spot on Wednesday. Rs 5 lakh was announced as compensation for the victims’ families.

The amount will be recovered from the building owners. The building that shrunk was constructed on a 65x70 site in Thomas Nagar.

Hard-earned money lost

The two buildings had a single-bedroom house for security guards on the ground floor who takes care of the parking lot.

Each floor on top had two houses - a double bedroom and a three bedroom.

A neighbour said the running sq ft rate along Hutchin’s Road in Cooke Town is Rs 14,500. Each house would cost at least Rs 1.5 crore. While some had purchased the houses on loans, others had paid the entire money and a few stayed on rent, said Manjula, a resident.

Police job

Pulakeshinagar police have taken up a case against the owners, Mohammed Shoiab, Mohammed Imtiyaz and Pratap Rudrani along with the builder, civil engineer and the concerned BBMP officials charging them under section 304 - culpable homicide not amounting to murder. DCP East Rahul Kumar Shahapurwad said a case of criminal negligence will be registered against all engineers, contractors, building owners and others culpable. An investigation is on.

Fire officials speak

Chief Fire Officer (CFO)
J H Ravishankar, a witness to several such building collapses, told DH that not only the building was constructed using substandard materials, but the engineers and contractors were negligent on soil testing. With two slumped buildings, the third building adjacent to the second one, built by the same builder is also at risk, a fire official further added. On Wednesday afternoon, residents from the third building which was not damaged, were seen moving out with their belongings. CFO J H Ravishankar said the owners of the under-construction building on plot no. 39 are Mohammed Saheb Amir and Mohammed Imtiaz while the owner of the second building on plot no. 40 is Pratap Rudrani.

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