The state-run Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) on August 31st held the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) responsible for the Bhendi Bazaar building collapse in which 22 people were killed today. The SBUT, run by the Bohra community, was granted the rights to redevelop a cluster of old buildings in the area, including the collapsed building.
“We had in 2011 given the NOC for redevelopment of the building and we had been constantly pursuing the issue. We have all the papers and information with us regarding it,” MHADA chief public relations officer Vaishali Wagh told local news channels.
She said MHADA had been constantly conveying to the families it was a “dangerous” building and that it had also apprised the SBUT of the risk. Asked about the process MHADA follows once a building is declared unfit for housing, she said, “In technical processes, once we give an NOC for redevelopment, all further responsibilities lie with the developer.
“Then all further processes and action has to be taken by the developer (SBUT). We had in 2016 given permission to the SBUT to demolish the structure as this building posed a risk.”
When contacted, an SBUT spokesperson told PTI that in 2011, MHADA had issued two notices to vacate the building and even the SBUT had offered the residents to shift to transit camps. “In 2013-14, seven out of the 13 families shifted to transit camps but five were reluctant. It is sad they did not shift despite several notices,” the spokesperson said.