Civil engineer and activist Kamankar Durraj alleges 500 illegal buildings have come up in Bhiwandi in the past five years using inferior material or lacking even a designated architect. Jilani building itself did not follow norms and lacked a proper access path for the fire brigade. Locals allege Patel Compound where it is located has another 20 illegal buildings, some of which are recent constructions.
Within Thane district, the Bhiwandi-Ulhasnagar and Mumbra belt is notorious for lack of compliance to building norms. The 2013 collapse of an illegal building in Mumbra, which claimed 74 lives, has been among the worst tragedies here in recent years. Jilani building had been classified as old and the landowner was issued several notices by civic authorities, asking for a structural audit to be conducted. The civic body, though, took no further action over the past three years.
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September 22, 2020