Driveway of Mumbai high-rise cave-in

Driveway of Mumbai high-rise cave-in

FIR against owner of Dosti Realty

Cars are seen amidst debris after the wall of a residential building collapsed due to heavy rains in Mumbai. REUTERS

The parking lot and the driveway of a posh high-rise building at the Antop Hill-Wadala area caved in on Monday following heavy rains.

Around a dozen cars and SUVs were struck in the debris after the parking lot of Lloyd’s Estate collapsed and formed a huge crater of more than 20 to 30 feet near the Vidyalankar College.

Adjacent to the building, Dosti Realty, a real estate company, is constructing a 40-storey building and the plinth work was on. The firm has also put up a cement mixing plant and water was regularly oozing which led to the choking of a nearby drain.

There are fears that some construction workers who had hutments in the site could be trapped.

“The police and fire brigade staff are on the job, we are not negating that possibility," said local MP Rahul Shewale said.

The C and D towers of the Lloyd’s Estate (also known as Wadala Heights Cooperative Housing Society) has been affected. Nearly 270 to 300 people living in these two buildings had to be evacuated.

Residents woke up around 4 am hearing a loud sound and during dawn discovered the breach. "It was like a thunder, explosion," a resident said describing the incident.

The BMC and Mumbai Police were informed about the incident and they immediately rushed to the spot to assess the damage.

Later, the Antop Hill police station registered a case against the builder and corporation officials.

As a precautionary measure, residents of the two wings have been asked to evacuate their flats.

The Wadala Heights in a statement said: “We have witnessed the significant sinking of our stilt area for more than a year because of the piling work.”

Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam demanded strict action against the officials for the tragedy. “It is because of a nexus between corporation officials and builders...The commissioner needs to be immediately removed,” he said.