It’s PMC vs police in Kondhwa compound wall collapse tragedy

Siddharth Gadkari and Mubarak Ansari
Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Pune police have filed a criminal complaint against two engineers of the PMC

Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pune city police have stood against each other over the Kondhwa compound wall collapse tragedy. 

This is the first time, the PMC General Body and PMC administration have given full support to their engineers to fight against Pune police. In the wall collapse incident, Pune police have filed a criminal complaint against two engineers Girish Londhe and Ganesh Karale of the PMC.

On June 29, a portion of the compound wall of a housing society collapsed on shanties adjacent to it in Kondhwa. 

The shanties were set up for labourers working in a nearby construction site. In this incident, 15 people, including four children, lost their lives. The police registered an FIR against the construction builders, site engineers and construction supervisor along with two PMC building permission and construction department engineers.

The police booked two PMC engineers under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. Last month, the Pune District Court rejected anticipatory bail applications of the two engineers. 

After that, the PMC administration condemned the act of police administration and staffers carried out ‘stop work’ agitation. 

In the PMC General Body meeting, all party corporators objected and passed a resolution to support engineers and bear all expenses after the engineers appeal in the High Court.

PMC Chief Legal Adviser Ravindra Thorat said, “Normally, police file complaint of negligence against government officials and the government takes departmental action on the employee. In the Kondhwa case, the police registered a criminal case against corporation engineers. Now, the PMC  has decided to provide financial support to engineers to take legal aid. We have not provided lawyers which are on PMC panel.”

According to PMC senior officials, “The State government had decided to form an inquiry committee after the mishap. It has studied the mishaps and reasons that caused the tragedy. The inquiry report is out, which does not put any onus on the civic officials. So filing criminal offence against these officials is not correct. Police would have to consider that PMC is a government body and it is working for people like the police department. If both agencies fight against each other, it may hamper coordination of both government agencies in the future.”

Senior Police Inspector Anil Patil, who was in-charge of Kondhwa police station when the case was registered, said, “Both the PMC engineers have been charged with culpable homicide case under the IPC as per available evidence. After the District Court rejected their anticipatory bail, they have approached the High Court.” 

Patil was recently transferred to the Special Branch of the city police.Civic activist Vivek Velankar said, “It is not the case that both government agencies stood against each other in Kondhwa case and it will adversely affect development of the city and people. Both government agencies don’t have a good reputation in society. Both agencies are non-cooperative and have a lethargic approach toward common people. Therefore, people don’t care about the police and the PMC. People right now are enjoying the battle between the PMC and the police officials.”  

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