The death toll in Mumbai's Ghatkopar building collapse stands at 17, with over 30 people injured. Amid reports that the NDRF and fire brigade teams bickered during rescue efforts, it has been found that a political leader's insistence on renovating a nursing home in the building is the reason for the collapse.
The Shiv Sena leader, who has been booked for culpable homicide, was arrested on Tuesday night and is being interrogated by the police.
If illegal renovations weakened the building's foundation and led to the collapse, the politician must face the full weight of the law. If the judiciary wishes to retain the faith of the masses, the high and mighty ought to be punished for flouting laws. Such so-called influential people must not be allowed to evade punishment.
With a tragedy of such ramifications, healing will come slowly, if at all. Amid the slew of problems that survivors are faced with, the main issue is that of alternate accommodation. Those who have lost family members are now also struggling to put a roof above their heads. The culprits responsible for the plight of so many people must face stringent action, so that the survivors do not have to live with the added bitterness that the system has failed them.
It's not uncommon to come across instances where permissions have not been sought for renovation or re-constructions. Additions to buildings are made without consulting qualified engineers - palms are greased to obtain the green light from some influential people. Such wanton alterations need to stop with immediate effect.
The authorities should crack down on illegal alterations and renovations within buildings and punish those whose irresponsible conduct leads to deaths. Let's learn some lessons from the Ghatkopar tragedy.
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