May 14, 2024

Pune: Structural audit of enclosures ordered after Mumbai tragedy


Report by Varad Bhatkhande

Pune, May 14, 2024: Heavy rains, sandstorm and strong winds caused a major enclosure to collapse in Mumbai's Ghatkopar yesterday. 14 people were killed and over 70 were injured in the incident. Following the incident, the Pune District Collector's Office has directed all enclosure owners in Pune to conduct a structural audit.

With the rainy season approaching and mango showers already being observed in Pune district, there is an urgent need to ensure the safety of all enclosures. This rain will be accompanied by heavy rains and strong winds, highlighting the importance of conducting a structural audit of all enclosures in Pune.

District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) CEO and Resident Deputy Commissioner Jyoti Kadam issued instructions in this regard and directed all authorities in Pune district to take appropriate measures. The order stipulates that:

1. As the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast indicates the possibility of gusts of wind, unseasonal rains and rainfall during the upcoming monsoon season, measures must be taken to prevent loss of life and traffic disruptions. To achieve this, a fresh audit of all permitted enclosure structures should be conducted and notices should be issued to each owner to submit evidence of the audit within 15 days.

2. Fencing boards within the jurisdiction which have not undergone a valid structural audit should be considered as unauthorized by the concerned authorities. After issuing notice to the respective owners, steps should be taken immediately to remove such unauthorized fencing boards. Further, strict action should be enforced against all unauthorized fencing boards, giving priority to those posing serious hazards and obstructing traffic.

In case the concerned officials continue to monitor routine structural audit but fail to submit certification certificate for fresh structural audit or ignore notices issued to enclosure owners who have not had structural audit carried out earlier, they will be required to submit a report to this office giving details of action taken.

The structural audit of the enclosures was prompted by recent incidents in Mumbai as well as in Pune city. In April last year, five people were crushed to death when a steel enclosure collapsed due to strong winds on a service road in Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune. And last month, another enclosure collapsed in Pune's Wagholi area. The Pune Municipal Corporation and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation have consistently taken steps to address these issues.

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