Residents on Promenade Road in Fraser Town had allegedly complained about the construction undertaken by the Prestige group, prior to the Thursday morning collapse that shocked the city. In fact, the BBMP had served a notice to the firm ordering it to take all precautionary measures, but it failed to do so.
On Thursday morning, five independent houses saw their walls collapse due to the construction work being carried out on Prestige Deja vu. Prestige is building a 21-storey apartment block with two basements in a project sanctioned by BBMP’s town planning department on July 10, 2014.
Speaking to media, BBMP executive engineer, Maradi Rangappa, said that the builder had dug to a depth of around nine metres. “We need to check the setback violations. In fact, we received many complaints from local residents for alleged violations of the sanctioned plan, for which we issued a notice to the builder on May 12, 2016,” he added.
The notice reads: “We have seen that you [Prestige] have undertaken construction, which is against the sanctioned plan. We have even received complaints from local residents and we asked your site engineers to follow construction activities in accordance with the plan. If the neighboring buildings are getting affected due to the ongoing construction activities then you [Prestige] will be held responsible.”
Meanwhile, Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, Pulkeshinagar MLA, said that the digging had been going on for a while and due to the recent rains the soil was loose and would have been the reason for neighbouring houses developing cracks. BBMP engineers have filed a case against the Prestige group, he added.
However, local corporator Abdul Zakir said: “I went to the spot at 7.30am, as soon as local residents called me. One house was pretty old, belonging to Azgar Pasha, and portions of two bedrooms had collapsed. Neighbouring houses had also developed cracks and were about to collapse. I asked them to vacate their properties.”
“Two days ago, Rizwan Razack, brother of Irfan Razack, CMD Prestige group, met Azgar and his family and told them to vacate his house immediately. The Azgar family did not inform BBMP officials or me about the cracks that had already developed. We had to serve notices to the owners of the houses asking them to vacate. Later, Irfan assured them that his company would reconstruct the collapsed portion of the house,” Zakhir added.
Suspend the plan
Zakhir said that he is in no mood to compromise on this issue. He said: “I have demanded the sanctioned plan be suspended immediately and remain so until the houses are restored. Till then we won’t allow any kind of construction activity.”
He added: “This issue with Prestige has been going on for a long time and in the month of May, I asked engineers to serve them a notice. The cracks had already developed in April-May. Despite the incidents being brought to town planning officials’ notice, a commencement certificate was issued in the month of July.”
Credits Bangalore Mirror