The Sewree police, probing the Mazgaon Dockyard building collapse that claimed over 60 lives, have stumbled upon a crucial photographic evidence of the illegal alterations made to the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) building.
The police seized the photographs from the office computer of Ashok Kumar Mehta, the owner of Mama Mia Developers, which carried out the alterations.
Mehta, who has been arrested in the case, was running a decoration business in the first-floor godown of the collapsed building.
The photographs clearly showed the illegal alterations carried out in the godown. It was these alterations in the residential-cum-commercial complex that led to the collapse of the building.
Apart from Mehta, the police have arrested civic officials Dr Prithviraj Chavan, Rahul Jadhav and Jamaluddin Kazi.
In 2012, when Kazi was the building inspector, he had detected the unauthorised construction of a mezzanine in the ground floor by Mehta, the police said.
Though Kazi asked Mehta to remove the mezzanine, the latter didn’t pay any heed.
The Sewree police have also found a photocopy of a forged BMC licence suspected to have been made with the connivance of some civic officials during the search at Mehta’s Bhoiwada Naka-based office.
“The unauthorised alterations made to the mezzanine by Mehta are clearly seen in the photographs. The computer also contained documents of communications with BMC,” an officer privy to the investigations said.
“Civic official Rahul Jadhav had written a letter to the deputy superintendent, market department, BMC, on September 26, 2012, saying that the dilapidated buildings should be vacated, but nothing was done ,” the officer said.
On October 3, 2013, assistant police inspector Jayant Dudhande searched Rahul Jadhav’s office and found a 265-page report to the assistant commissioner, market department. The contents of this file are being ascertained, sources said.
During questioning, Kazi had said never received any notice from his superiors about the dilapidated building.
“He (Kazi) also said he had written to the assistant engineer of E-ward in 2009, issued notices to Mama Mia developers on January 29, 2011, and February 8, 2011, and a show-cause notice on July 26, 2011, but he never received a reply to these notices,” the officer.
The report says...
On October 3, assistant police inspector Jayant Dudhande searched Rahul Jadhav’s office and found a 265-page report to the assistant commissioner, market department. During questioning, Kazi had said he did not receive any notice from his superiors about the dilapidated building. “He (Kazi) also said he had warned them many times between 2009 and 2011, but he never received a reply to any of the communications sent.