Dongri Building Collapse: The MHADA, BMC blame game

The MHADA and BMC are blaming each other for the incident and are refraining to take any accountability for the death of 13 people in the Dongri building collapse

Dongri Building Collapse: The MHADA, BMC blame game

Mumbai, the financial capital of India, has witnessed several incidents this year and that too quite frequently. The city encounters hundreds of incidents in different areas and casualties keep on increasing. After the unfortunate Malad wall collapse, a four-story building in Dongri collapsed killing 13 people and left 25 injured including children on July 16. 

According to an RTI, a total of 2,704 buildings collapsed in Mumbai between the year 2012 to mid-2018 which killed 234 people and left 840 injured. The building collapse in Dongri is not the first incident, there have been several reports which inform that this is a story which repeats every year. Who is to be blamed for the same?

The building which collapsed in Dongri was nearly 100 years old and was in a poor condition. Why didn’t the administration pay any attention to the same? Was the BMC waiting for this to happen?

The Blame Game

After this incident, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) tried to dodge from any responsibility saying that the structure which collapsed was an “illegal” construction as  the residents didn’t pay 'cess' for the same. 

On the other hand, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)  passed on the buck to MHADA saying that the building was old and the responsibility to repair the old buildings lie with the housing development authority.

In this blame game, the accountability will never be declared and the accountable who is responsible for the deaths and injuries of the building’s resident will never be punished. If the building was illegal, why wasn’t something done? Why people were allowed to stay in the building? 

Both BMC and MHADA are accountable for it. If the administration was not busy running away from its responsibility, this whole incident would have been avoided.

Government and its policies in question?

A BMC official, who didn’t want to be identified, informed that there are several buildings in Dongri which are in poor condition and can collapse at any time. However, the residents in those building are not ready to leave their homes. In parts of the city, the condition remains similar where families with young children reside putting their lives in danger. 

If this is the case, why do people still continue to live in such a way? In a city like Mumbai, rehabilitation is a major problem. However, it wouldn’t be unfair to blame the government and its policies for this. In the name of rehabilitation, people are sent away from their workspace and it also affects the education of their children. Moreover, people are not compensated and rehabilitated fairly.

Such incidents will keep on happening

This is why such incidents happen every year in a metropolitan city like Mumbai. Every time such an unfortunate incident happens, the administration reaches the site and carries out its rescue operation while the politicians weep over it for a while. After media attention and assurances from the government, everything gets back to normal and we wait for the next incident to happen. 

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