Defective shore piling, or piling along the boundary, by the builder developing a neighbouring plot caused the wall collapse at Lloyd’s Estate in Wadala on Monday, court commissioner Shantilal Jain told.
Dosti Realty, the developer, has claimed that heavy rain was to blame.
Protest against BMC
Restoration work as recommended by Jain started on Tuesday. Residents of Lloyd’s Estate and the neighbouring Dosti Blossom and Dosti Acres will stage a march against the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday.
A portion of the society’s compound wall and an internal road had collapsed on Monday, damaging 11 cars. The Antop Hill police have registered an FIR against Dosti Realty, which is developing the neighbouring plot from where the landslide started.
Lloyd’s Estate residents and Dosti Realty have been engaged in a court battle since 2016 when the building’s parking area ‘settled’ a few feet and walls developed cracks. The society sent Dosti Realty a legal notice and appealed to the court that construction is halted. The matter is being heard before the city civil court.
The court had appointed architect Shantilal Jain as court commissioner to investigate the matter and ascertain the residents’ claims. Jain had declared the building safe on Monday.
Jain said on Tuesday, he said, “Every builder is supposed to do shore piling work before construction starts so that there is no danger to adjacent properties. That piling failed in this case, leading to the disaster.”
He said the foundation of Wadala Heights (Wings C and D of Lloyd’s Estate) was intact. “There is no danger to the building. That is why I recommended that residents live here,” Jain said.
On Tuesday, June 26, a spokesperson for Dosti Realty said they were carrying out the remedial measures suggested by Jain. “Backfilling and concretisation at the caved-in portion are going on under the supervision of our consultants and engineers,” the spokesperson said.
The developer had not responded to Jain’s remarks onshore piling at the time of going to print.
Meanwhile, another portion of the wall collapsed around 3.30 p.m. on Tuesday, leading to an uproar from residents. The Dosti Realty spokesperson said, “On account of natural slope and gravity, a certain amount of backfilling is resettling, which is normal and part of the process. Since the matter is sub judice we would refrain from commenting any further.”
Residents, meanwhile, said they want the construction to be stopped immediately. Simran Parmar, committee member of Wadala Heights who filed the police complaint against the builder on Monday, said, “A few hours before the incident, the structural audit of our building said it was safe. Then how did the accident occur? The construction was directly responsible.”
She said residents had packed up their belongings in the car, ready to leave if something occurred. “If something happens to us, the builder will be responsible. We are staying here to put pressure on the BMC to take action,” Parmar said.
Residents of the neighbouring Dosti Blossom are also anxious. Rajesh Kashi, secretary of Dosti Blossom, said, “We have also been fighting for justice. We cannot understand how the BMC can allow such illegal construction. We want the construction to stop.”