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Playing With Safety Norms

T K NANDANAN, KOCHI

It is very sad to learn that as many as 11 people were killed and over 40 others feared trapped under the debris as a decrepit building that was at least a hundred years old collapsed on Tuesday in South Mumbai’s congested Dongri locality. There are so many decrepit buildings across the entire nation that needs either dismantling or renovating. The just fallen building is only a tip of the iceberg. Also, the method of the construction of buildings meeting the required standards is not at all satisfactory. The buildings are constructed in a hurry flouting the safety norms and are given to occupation. The occupants are not taking pains to check the strength of the building or enquire about the age of the building so as to confirm whether the building is safe enough to occupy.  The fallen four-storey building in the highly congested Dongri area is a residential complex and the actual number of people trapped beneath the debris is unknown as the original tenants had vacated their homes and rented it out to other families after the building was declared ‘dilapidated’. Mumbai Municipal Corporation is to be held responsible for the collapse as they had to rehabilitate these people to safer places once they came to know about its dangerous condition. Now the local self-government must prepare a list of buildings that need to be dismantled due to its old and dilapidated conditions so as not to happen a tragedy like this. Practical steps must also be taken to evacuate people from these decrepit buildings and rehabilitate them till permanent housing solutions are found.

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