Builder's violations put residents' lives in peril

Builder's violations put residents' lives in peril

After mudslide killed 3, people in adjacent buildings told to shift

Builder's violations put residents' lives in peril

Sagaya Villa at Koramangala is vacant now, while families living in five other adjacent buildings are clueless about their future. The BBMP has served them notices to vacate their buildings as they may collapse any time.

The Zed Constructions, which was coming up with a huge commercial complex, excavated soil up to at least 15-foot deep in an area of about 5,000 sq ft. While doing so, there was a mudslide on Saturday, killing three labourers on the spot and endangering six adjacent buildings.

BBMP engineers say that the firm should have done cement-capping of the mud to prevent mudslide. While all the construction material is littered 15 feet beneath the ground, the BBMP is rushing truck loads of debris and soil to fill the ground in the area to prevent further damage to the independent houses adjacent to the pit.

“We are filling up the excavated area to build a ramp to reach the portion where the buildings are in danger,” said a BBMP engineer overseeing the work.

The BBMP notice glued on the window of Sagaya Villa reads, “It is clearly visible that Zed Constructions did not abide by the norms and caused damage to the foundation of your building. Due to rain, the soil may erode damaging the foundation of your building. Hence, you are directed to vacate the place and go to a safer place. The BBMP will not be responsible for loss to lives in case of any eventuality.”

Tehsin Begum too received a similar notice. She said, “For what fault of mine should I vacate this place? What were the BBMP officials doing when the builder was flouting norms? It is a clear case of unholy nexus between the builder and corrupt BBMP officials.” She sought to know where should she go with her family.Megha, who too received a notice, said, “I have no idea what to do with this notice. It is surprising that such a construction was allowed.”

Builder blamed

The assistant engineer of BBMP, Savithri, blamed the builder. She said, “We had noticed the violations and warned the builder to stop the work. I had orally warned him on June 8 and later, sent him a notice on July 2. Yet the builder did not stop the work, resulting in the tragedy.”

She admitted that the firm was given permission to excavate soil up to 10 feet deep to build a retaining wall. Attempts to reach the office of Zed Constructions, founded by K N Zubair Ahmed, proved futile.

However, the firm claimed in its website, “Our constructions are based on the ‘green building approach,’ which means that we stick to all the environmental conventions required. They include adequate sewage clearance, groundwater preservation, rainwater harvesting, utilising solar energy for conserving power, not disturbing trees in the area for building activities and several such measures.”

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