Jindal Steel Works tragedy: Civic body to probe illegal structural changes

Dec 05 2012, 10:34 IST
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The BMC will probe if illegal structural changes were introduced in Victoria House, the building in Kamala Mills compound in Lower Parel that collapsed on Monday, killing two persons and injuring six. (Reuters) The BMC will probe if illegal structural changes were introduced in Victoria House, the building in Kamala Mills compound in Lower Parel that collapsed on Monday, killing two persons and injuring six. (Reuters)
SummaryThe BMC will probe if illegal structural changes were introduced in Victoria House, the building in Kamala Mills compound in Lower Parel that collapsed on Monday, killing two persons and injuring six.

The BMC will probe if illegal structural changes were introduced in Victoria House, the building in Kamala Mills compound in Lower Parel that collapsed on Monday, killing two persons and injuring six.

Jindal Steel Works (JSW) owned the first two floors of the building but the BMC is yet to identify the owner and leaser of the ground floor, who JSW has alleged was undertaking construction work responsible for the collapse. They will be prosecuted under the Maharastra Regional and Town Planning Act of 1996 for violations.

G-South assistant municipal commissioner Keshav Ubale said, “As of now, we only know that DNA had an office on the ground floor and vacated only a few weeks ago. We will take action against the owner, the tenant and the contractor. The police will also take action based on the FIR filed. We are trying to identify the owner and the leaser. We will take action under the MRTP Act as no permission has been given for undertaking any construction activity in the building,” said Ubale. “We will also probe legality of the lease to a commercial establishment,” he said.

The corporation has also appointed a private architect to remove debris from the site and to secure the building as some of the pillars are old and dilapidated.

Victoria House, formerly part of Victoria Mills, a heritage structure years ago, underwent redevelopment. Some of the pillars of the building date back to 1897. The ground floor is occupied by Fast Train Cargo Services.

Around 11.30 am on Monday, the two-storeyed building collapsed on the northern and western side trapping eight persons — all employees of JSW — under the debris. Two died of head injuries and hemotama while six persons were treated at Jaslok Hospital for fractures and other injuries. All six are stable,” said a source from the hospital.

Victoria House has been the registered office of JSW Steel since 2005. A company spokespersons said records, infrastructure and IT systems in the collapsed portion have also been damaged or destroyed. “This appeared to have happened due to certain modifications being done on the ground floor, which does not belong to JSW Group. In April 2013, we had planned to move to our own new office which is under construction at Bandra-Kurla Complex,” said a JSW spokesperson.

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