Monday, 4 November 2013


What kind of satisfaction do the lusty builders get by killing the poor people? Asks Suyash Karangutkar

Mumbai – a city of dreams, where people from different states and districts of the country's arrive to blossom their career. Over years as the infrastructural development in this city of dreams has taken a pace, population is multiplying every second day. Lokhandwala, one of the posh localities of Mumbai has been my home since past fourteen years. In these years, I have myself witnessed several developmental activities coming-up in the town. As days passed, builders started grabbing empty lands and erected sky-scrappers. Old structures were redeveloped into new and better ones. Shops and shopping complexes have also been established. 

Well, such developmental activities add to the enhancement of our country but subsequently mounting lust and greed of the builder-baboo nexus have taken million lives too. 

When Laxmi Chaya building collapsed at Babhai Naka of Borivli, I was too young to understand what exactly had happened. From what was shown on television news, I got to know that some building had collapsed and that several residents were injured. 

Some died too. One of my aunts who has settled in Borivli, was a regular customer of a grocery shop which was exactly opposite to the building. That evening when the building came down, those around the area were also affected. Luckily that evening she did not go to the shop and thus remained safe. 
  • The rescue operations at a collapse sight.


In 2013, exactly five years after the incident another building gave off at Mumra. And then the saga extended, bringing the reality of rapidly enriching real estate in the financial capital. On April 5, an illegally constructed building fell down where in more than 72 people lost their lives. 35 km away from Mumbai, in Thane district, another building collapsed which took 10 lives. In yet another incident, 60 people lost their lives as a very old and a completely damaged Babu Genu building of Mazgaon came down. 
 
Just a year has taken so many lives in Mumbai and god knows what more is awaiting. Heart and soul shudders in pain as one sees the video of the Babu Genu building collapse shot by one of the witness.

Several investigations have revealed that the BMC officials are shamelessly asking for bribe in exchange of permission for erecting buildings, without even bothering to glance over the entire plan. And the sufferers are the common people. Appearing on a CNN IBN show, a lady confessed that she was threatened when she mustard courage to raise her voice against the illegal constructions in her locality. She further added that death threats were also given to her family. 

Now, whom should we blame for all these mishaps? Shall we blame the government for moving on a tortoise alacrity on such issues or the builders for their terrible lust? 

When a girl is subjected to brutality, million rallies rock the city but when the poor and needy are subjected to such deadly viciousness where do the protestants disappear? Why don’t they catch hold of this issue and protest against it? 

And a thing which remains absurd to me is that what kind of satisfaction do these corrupt officials get by killing the poor people? 

Answers to such and many more questions are still hidden under the debris. And unless and until we don’t raise our voices against this cruelty, the corrupt officials won’t get their selves out of this horrendous business. It’s time for us to unite and ensure proper infrastructural development in the city!

-          Suyash Karangutkar is the Editor-in-Chief of The Columnist.
 

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