Things are not just the same anymore. Unsafe buildings and constructions are now very much under
the radar and the fate of everyone down the line will be in serious question if proper fire safety
protocols are not found to be observed- and with retrospective effect- so to speak. The Tilak Nagar
builders, who are absconding as of now, join the latest line of offenders whose chickens are coming
home to roast. These developments happened around March/April this year.
Mukesh Kothari and the two brothers, Shubhak and Hemendra Mahapara, were partners, who
constructed a 16-storey building in Sangram society which suffered a fire accident killing 5. Three
months later, the Vikhroli court declared two builders “absconders” after police could not catch
them. Police had registered a case after preliminary investigation revealed irregularities on part of
the builders. Since Kothari was arrested on January 25 and the charge sheet filed against him
thereafter, police is looking for his partners against whom they have issued several warrants. They
even issued a lookout notice (LOC) against the duo. The police have also frozen six of their bank
accounts and deployed policemen to keep watch on their construction sites to nab them.
Police said having them in custody was important for the investigation as they wanted to get their
hands on the documents submitted to the government agencies. “Their phones are switched off, but
after we received tip-offs we even dispatched teams to Surat and Vadodara, but we are yet to locate
them,” said an officer from Tilak Nagar police station. The investigation team also submitted a
detailed report on their attempts to locate the duo.
In another case, two senior executives of National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) Ltd, a
public sector unit in charge of the ESIC Kamgar Hospital construction, are among the six charge
sheeted for causing death by negligence in the December 17 case. Add to that the fate of the Kamala
Mills owners and promoters and the message rings loud and clear.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
The law and its ‘doctors’ appear to have found a possible cure to the epidemic of the ‘Chalta Hai’
virus that has eaten into the building construction industry for ages now. So even those afflicted
earlier, are succumbing now with the last stages resulting in fire accidents and huge losses to life and
limb as in the cases that have made history like Kamala Mills, ESIC hospital and so many more. Even
architects and fire safety departments that have been found to issue safety licenses without proper
verification are being brought to book.
The building code is clear on what measures are a must in constructions-especially enclosed ones.
Proper fire safety equipment, emergency lighting, signages and related stuff are not an option any
more but the thumb rule as per law. And the teeth are beginning to bite-hard.