Following the collapse of a building at Jeevanbaug, Mumbra, on Saturday morning, politicians and religious leaders have taken to blaming the government for its apathy. They say that had the government paid any attention to the development of Mumbra, such incidents could have been avoided.
Jitendra Awhad, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA from Thane, said that the state government is responsible for all the three building collapse incidents which have taken place in the last six months. “I have taken up the issue of cluster development for Mumbra with the government, but I have received no response,” Awhad said.
He also said that the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) officials should be vigilant when the construction of a new building starts.
“They should nip it right in the bud. But what they do is pretend to work once a building has collapsed,” he added.
He also alleged that 90 per cent of buildings in Mumbra are illegal. “Mumbra’s economy thrives on the illegal construction business, where if one person is a sand supplier, then another is an iron supplier. And these people work hand in glove with each other, due to which Mumbra is in a sorry state today,” he said.
He also warned that if the TMC and the government don’t undertake structural audits of buildings in Mumbra to pave way for the cluster development project, they will go on a hunger strike in the first week of October and organise a rally to the Mantralaya.
Religious leader Maulana Sayed Moin Ashraf (Moin Miyan), founder of Maharashtra Muslim Front, visited the spot and offered prayers for those who died and blamed the government for the debacle. “The government and senior TMC officials are responsible for this incident. When Ashok Chavan was the chief minister, there was some focus on cluster development. But now the issue has been neglected,” he said.
He added that the CM has not visited Mumbra even after three building collapse incidents. “But he visits sites in Mumbai and even offers a huge amount of money as compensation,” he alleged.