The misfortune of Mumbai continues with the collapse of a 117 year old building at the congested Bhendi Bazaar in South Mumbai. So far 34 people have been killed because of the building collapse. This incident is close on heels to another building collapse that took place a month ago in Ghatkopar. Just a few days ago, during the Mumbai flood, two buildings in the central suburb of Vikhroli collapsed, claiming three lives.
The list of building collapse in the financial capital of India is a long one. In October 2016, a five story building in the up market suburban Bandra collapsed, killing six children and injuring five others. This was an illegal and shoddy structure constructed on the railway line, resulting in collapsing of the building. The list does not end here! In August 2016, eight people were killed by the falling of a two-storey building in Bhiwandi. The condition of the building was dilapidated and the notice was sent by the civic body to declare the building as a dangerous one.
There was another collapse of building in April 2016 of a three storey building in Kamathipura (red light district of Mumbai) killing six people and injuring two. This building was a century old under the renovation by MHADA. However, there was none who were living in the building and construction workers were the ones who were deceased. The blame game started between the BMC and MHADA just like what is happening now with the building collapsed in Bhendi Bazaar.
In August 2015, a building came crashing down in Thane killing 12 and injuring seven others. Again this time also, it was an old building where notices were served by the civic body to evacuate the building but was not followed by the residents.
There have been many more incidences of old buildings collapsing in Mumbai over the years. This raises fingers towards the civic body as their responsibility to protect the buildings or ensuring the evacuation of the dangerous buildings is not effective. Kolkata is home to many more old buildings compared to Mumbai. Yet, no building in Kolkata has collapsed in the recent times. This shows a much more effective monitoring and restoring of the old buildings by the Kolkata municipality than Mumbai’s.