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Mumbai rains: 4 of family perish in house collapse in Govandi

11:52 PM Jul 23, 2021 | Pratip Acharya

Mumbai: In the sixth monsoon tragedy in the city this season and the second incident to be reported from the M east municipal ward in a week, four members of a family, including three females and one senior citizen died and seven more were injured after a portion of a ground plus one structure, came crashing down on them in the early hours of Friday in a slum on Plot No. 3, Shivaji Nagar, Govandi.

The deceased have been identified as Neha Pervez Shaikh, 35, Mokar Shaikh, 80, Shamshad Shaikh, 45, and Farin Shaikh, 22. According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Neha, Mokar and Farin were declared dead on arrival at the hospital, while Shamsad succumbed to her injuries during treatment at Rajawadi Hospital.

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Civic officials said that as soon as those trapped under the debris were rescued, they were rushed to Rajawadi and Sion hospitals. The injured have been identified as Pervez Shaikh, Amina B Shaikh, Amol Dhadei, Samol Singh, Mohammad Faisal Qureshi, Namra Qureshi and Shahina Qureshi.

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According to Yasin Shaikh, who lost his father, sister-in-law and sister in the incident, the incident occurred around 5am on Friday. He also said that the portion of the house that collapsed had been newly constructed.

“Everytime it rained heavily, the roof of our house would shake. We had been thinking of carrying out repairs after the monsoon, but never imagined that things would end this way,” said a grief-stricken Shaikh on Saturday.

According to local residents and eyewitnesses, the house only had one floor initially, which was later expanded by constructing makeshift roofs. “The roof was constructed six months ago,” said a neighbour of the Shaikhs.

According to local Samajwadi Party (SP) corporator Ayesha Khan, the four deceased belonged to the same family. “Six members of the family were trapped under the debris, four of whom died and two were injured,” Khan told the FPJ on Friday.

Khan said that along with the Shaikhs, their neighbours too had suffered huge property damage and many of them were injured, too.

“The spot where the incident took place is a congested area, where houses are tightly packed together, so when this house crashed, it damaged the adjoining structures as well,” Khan said.

On July 18, 19 lives were lost after a house collapsed due to torrential rains.

According to Deputy Municipal Commissioner Bharat Marathe, in a slum area, there cannot be structures higher than 14 feet. “The house that collapsed exceeded the 14-ft height limit and the owners had been earlier issued a notice by the BMC saying that the additional floors and makeshift stairs that they had built were illegal,” Marathe told the FPJ on Friday.

“We have again started to issue fresh notices to under-construction houses in these slum areas that are illegally constructing makeshift floors. We have issued them a timeline already; if they don’t stop construction, we will demolish the additional floors being built,” Assistant Municipal Commissioner and in-charge of M-east ward, Mahendra Ubale told the FPJ.

“The state government needs to improve the housing laws and bring in schemes of affordable housing for the poor. Unless they do so, the lives of people will continue to be at stake,” said local Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi.

Building collapse at Antop Hill, none injured: Meanwhile, there were reports of another collapse in Antop Hill on Friday. A portion of a ground plus five structure, Building No. 10, Punjabi Colony, came tumbling down on Friday night.

According to civic officials, the eastern portion between the ground and fourth floors crashed on Friday evening. However, no injuries were reported as the building had already been vacated, officials said. The incident was reported to the BMC around 10pm.

COLLAPSES THUS FAR

June 7, 2021: 3-storied building at Malwani collapses, 11 killed

June 10, 2021: Portion of a ground plus three structure, Rajjak Chawl in Bandra collapses, one dead, 7 injured

June 25, 2021: Staircase of five-storeyed building collapses, 35 people rescued

July 18, 2021: 19 killed in a house wall collapse at Bharat Nagar, Mahul

July 18, 2021: Ten killed after five shanties collapse, following landslide at Vikhroli

July 19, 2021: 5 of family killed as boulder crashes into their home in Gholai Nagar, Kalwa

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