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Sunday, August 11, 2013

DISASTER INVITED AT BIMA OFFICE COMPLEX The building is in a dilapidated condition, thus putting lives at risk

Going through the ground reality with seepage all around the BIMA (Bombay Iron Merchant Association) Office Complex at Kalamboli, one could gauge the intensity of the situation as the structure is in a complete dilapidated state. Complaints are pouring in from the occupants of the complex, which was built around 25 years ago as a symbolic gesture of iron merchants when the yard was shifted from Mumbai to Navi Mumbai. The five-storied building is located near the Mumbai-Pune Highway and is equipped with over 600 offices. The situation is grave as ceiling comes crashing down, office furniture are covered under tarpaulin, and even computers are damaged. 
    According to the people working in the building, the BIMA management's decision of expanding the building to one more floor on the onset of monsoon has added further to the problem. "They could have started it either before monsoon or post rain. The water has entered the main columns of the building, thus damaging its strength as most portions of the steel pillars got rusted. Also, there is rampant water leakage in all floors," said a member Rajendra Dadhich. 
    Many members had opposed the decision of the management to add the 
6th floor on the existing structure as the building is not in good condition to withstand the load. But the management of the complex stamped on the FSI issue to be used, which was granted to them long back. "The building is in danger, which may collapse anytime if the work is not halted in the rains. The inefficiency on the part of the contractor has damaged the building completely," said one of the members. 
    "Most of the members were not in favour of expansion. We also demanded for a structural audit and an appointment of consultant having expertise in civil construction, but to no avail. Our plea was not heard by the decision-making body. The water leakage began with the first rain as the contractor drilled the old column without having any knowledge about the civil work," alleges Manish Singh, who runs a transport business in the building for past 15 years. 
    The expansion work has developed the crack in the fifth floor and water seepage dissipated to all levels till the ground floor. "The entire office complex is at a great risk. The civil contractor is working in an unprofessional way, thus putting the entire structure in danger. If this continues, then, we will meet the same fate as of those buildings that collapsed in Mumbra and Mahim. Since one month, I am not going to 
my office and has shifted my work to some other place," said Dinkar Sutar, a tax consultant. When asked about theFSI construction and quality of work while endangering the lives of many people, chairman of the society Ramdas Shewale told Times Neighbourhood that, "I have nothing to comment about it. Let the members complain about the shoddy work, or the veracity of the contractor. I am not bothered about their voice. They have been talking like this since a long time, and I prefer to maintain silence in this matter." In the meantime, it has been a regular affair for the workers to shift the office apparatus form one corner to another when it rains, and they are living under high 


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