On September 9, Mumbai Mirror published a report on the plight of these residents. After this, MHADA senior officers visited the spot for the first time, and instructed junior officers to speed up the repair work of the allotted building.
Haresh Chavda, one of the residents who had made representations to MHADA along with others, told Mumbai Mirror, “The electricity and water supply will be fixed in building number 10. We are allowed to stay there until building number 9 gets repaired. We thank Mumbai Mirror for highlighting our long-pending issues. Finally, we will have our own accommodations.”
Twenty-one families that survived the collapse of the Bhanushali building in Fort on July 16 didn’t have temporary accommodation as promised by MHADA until September 10. MHADA had claimed that they have all been assigned temporary accommodations but the residents were not allowed to stay there. Ten people died when a part of the 80-year-old building, which was due for redevelopment, fell during rains.
As per the survivors’ demands, MHADA soon gave them temporary accommodation in one of its buildings in Tardeo’s Chikhalwadi area. The allotment letters said they would be given flats in Building No 9 for a period of 12 months. As per MHADA rules, the families paid Rs 5,000 deposit and Rs 500 rent for two months.
They then received the allotment letters, MHADA officials told them there had been a mistake, and that they would be moving into building 10. On August 17, Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad, Shiv Sena’s South Mumbai MP Arvind Sawant and MHADA Mumbai Building Repairs and Redevelopment Board (MBRRB) chairman Vinod Ghosalkar handed over keys to the families
When some of the families moved into building 10, they were told to vacate the flats. The families had allotment letters, keys, but no place to stay. And they were getting increasingly desperate. They had cleaned the flat in building 10, bought drums to store water. People with children in the families shifted gas cylinder, suitcases full of clothes and everything to building No 10 already. They are relieved that they will not become homeless. The residents were worried because they could not request friends and relatives to allow them to stay for a longer period.
MBRRB chairperson Vinod Ghosalkar told Mumbai Mirror, “We will keep our word. We will not abandon the victims.”