The residents of the Pune housing society whose wall collapsed on Saturday killing 15 slum dwellers, had warned the developers five months ago that the structure was in a dangerous condition, PTI reported. The residents had had a meeting with the developer firm Alcon Landmarks, where they said that the wall was tilting outwards.
The wall collapse occurred in Kondhwa locality around 1.45 am on Saturday. The slums housed labourers working at a construction site nearby. Teams from the National Disaster Response Force and the fire department rescued two men and a woman, who were taken to hospital with severe injuries.
“We had a meeting on February 16 with Vivek Agarwal [a partner at Alcon Landmarks] over the pending works,” a resident said. “We highlighted the condition of the wall, told him that it was tilting outward and its construction quality was not satisfactory.” The residents had also sent the developer an email within minutes of the meeting, which was forwarded to the Pune Municipal Corporation and the police.
However, Alcon Landmarks Director Jagdish Agarwal had told the residents that the wall was safe and claimed if anything happened, he would take care of it, a resident said.
Pune Mayor Mukta Tilak said an investigation would be conducted. She said the incident took place because of excess excavation in the area.
The police on Saturday filed a case of culpable homicide against Jagdishprasad Agarwal, 64, Sachin Agarwal, 34, Rajesh Agarwal, 27, Vivek Agarwal, 21, and Vipul Agarwal, 21. They also booked Pankaj Vora, Suresh Shah and Rashmikant Gandhi of the Kanchan Royal Exotica project, for which the excavation was being carried out.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered an inquiry into the incident, and announced Rs 4-lakh compensation for the families of those killed. The Bihar government announced Rs 2-lakh compensation for the families of those killed, and Rs 50,000 for the injured.
Pune received over 73.1 millimetres of rain in the last 24 hours, taking the rainfall in the city so far this month to its second highest level since 2010.