Skip to main content

Vadodara building collapse: What is there to investigate? File FIR against builders and officials, say NGOs

By Our Representative
In a sharply worded letter, a group of Vadodara-based NGOs has asked state urban development secretary GR Aloriya, Vadodara district collector Vinod Rao and Vadodara police commissioner Satish Sharma, to take “immediate steps” against the builders responsible for constructing the collapsed buildings at Ataladara, leading to 11 deaths, as also officials who granted permission for its construction. “Immediate step must be taken to file an FIR instead of wasting time on inquiry commission set up on the collapse”, the NGOs have said.
“Collapse of the buildings on August 28 itself is evidence enough to suggest corruption took place while granting permission to use the buildings”, the letter said, adding, “It is unfortunate politics is now being played around the collapse. Any ordinary person can say that the construction was weak. To reach this conclusion one does not require an expert committee to investigate. Criminal negligence and corruption of some of some the powerful persons needs to be nailed.”
The NGOs demanded that action must be initiated against Vadodara Urban Development Authority’s (VUDA’s ) former chairman and current chairman, Naranbhai Patel , for negligence, and criminal proceedings must begin against the builders, the architects, the structural engineers and all those who allowed the buildings to be allowed to be used. “Immediately FIR must be filed under the IPC sections 304, 337 and 338”, the NGOs said, adding, “A case must immediately begin in a fast track court, and sentence pronounced in three months.”  The twin buildings were constructed in 2002.
“Files giving permission to the builder by VUDA officials should be immediately seized as evidence. Sensitive data should be quickly scanned from all the files, and its results must be placed on the government's website so that it is not possible to manipulate facts”, the NGOs said, adding, “People affected by the incident should be provided with alternative accommodation, so that they do not suffer"
Even as demanding that the interim compensation must be paid within 48 hours, the letter said, VUDA must immediately carry out a survey of such buildings which are in a dilapidated state, and they must be demolished. The letter has been signed by representatives of Jyoti Karmachari Mandal, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Radical Socialist, Sahiyar, and Vadodara Kamdar Union.
At least eleven people died and five injured, while several people got trapped underneath debris after two buildings came crashing down in the wee hours of August 28 at Vadodara. The incident took place between 4.30 am and 4.45 am, when one of the buildings constructed by the Vadodara Urban Development Authorities in Ataladara collapsed. 
While the residents of a nearby building moved out after the first building collapse, a second building too collapsed within an hour's time. Personnel from the local administration, National Disaster Relief Force and the Fire Department handled the rescue operations. Cabinet minister Nitin Patel announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the deceased. The buildings housed 14 families each. The state government formed a high level Inquiry Commission, headed by retired Chief Secretary Dr. Manjula Subramaniam.
Vadodara Police Commissioner Satish Sharma stated that police is looking into the cause of the collapse and trying to ascertain whether administrative or criminal negligence had caused it. "We are also examining the quality of construction materials used in the building and trace the contractors, who made this building," he added. Chief Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: "Heard about the collapse of two buildings in Vadodara. Rescue operations have begun."



Avoidable Narmada floods: Modi birthday fete caused long wait for release of dam waters

Counterview Desk  Top advocacy group, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), has accused the Sardar Sarovar dam operators for once again acting in an "unaccountable" manner, bringing "avoidable floods in downstream Gujarat."  In a detailed analysis, SANDRP has said that the water level at the Golden Bridge in Bharuch approached the highest flood level on September 17, 2023, but these "could have been significantly lower and much less disastrous" both for the upstream and downstream areas of the dam, if the authorities had taken action earlier based on available actionable information.

Biden urged to warn Modi: US can declare India as worst religious freedom offender

By Our Representative  During a Congressional Briefing held on Capitol Hill, Washington DC, Nadine Maenza, former Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), has wondered why the Biden administration should raise issues of mass anti-minority mob violence  -- particularly in Haryana and Manipur -- with Modi. Modi should be told that if such violence continues, the US will be “compelled by law” to designate India as one of the world’s worst offenders of religious freedom, she urged.

From 'Naatu-Naatu' to 'Nipah-Nipah': Dancing to the tune of western pipers?

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  Some critics have commented that the ecstatic response of most Indians to the Oscar for the racy Indian song, “Naatu-Naatu” from the film, “RRR” reeks of sheer racism, insulting visuals and a colonial hangover. It was perhaps these ingredients that impressed the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, one critic says.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Asset managers hold '2.8 times more equity' in fossil fuel cos than in green investments

By Deepanwita Gita Niyogi*  The world’s largest asset managers are far off track to meet the  2050 net zero commitments , a new study  released by InfluenceMap , a London-based think tank working on climate change and sustainability, says. Released on August 1, the Asset Managers and Climate Change 2023 report by FinanceMap, a work stream of InfluenceMap, finds that the world’s largest asset managers have not improved on their climate performance in the past two years.

Evading primary responsibility, ONGC decides to invest Rs 15,000 crore in sick subsidiary

By NS Venkataraman*  It is reported that Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) will infuse about Rs 15,000 crore in ONGC Petro-additions Ltd (OPaL) as part of a financial restructuring exercise. ONGC currently holds 49.36 per cent stake in (OPaL), which operates a mega petrochemical plant at Dahej in Gujarat. GAIL (India) Ltd has 49.21 per cent interest and Gujarat State Petrochemical Corporation (GSPC) has the remaining 1.43 per cent.

'State-sanctioned terror': Stop drone attack on Adivasis, urge over 80 world academics

Counterview Desk  A joint statement, “Indigenous Peoples’ Un-Freedoms and Our Academic Freedom: A Call for Solidarity”, endorsed by over 80 signatories, including international academics, activists and civil society organizations, as well as diasporic Indian academics and researchers, working with Adivasi (indigenous) communities in India, has made an urgent appeal to prevent future drone bomb attacks by the Indian state on Adivasi villages.

Sales, profits of Indian firms 'deteriorate', yet no significant increase in cost pressures

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad's (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES), a monthly exercise, has said that while cost perceptions data does not indicate significant increase of cost pressures, sales and profits of the Indian firms have deteriorated.