Prestige Shantiniketan building collapses !

Prestige is one the biggest real estate promoters in Bangalore. They have been operating for a long time and have always created posh residential and commercial buildings. I guess their biggest project is Prestige Shantiniketan, which is right next to ITPL. It spawns more than 100 acres. Its a mini township project and has both residential & commercial buildings, a huge swimming pool, Radission hotel, Forum mall, everthing you can think of. Its under construction for a very long time. Yesterday evening, when I was coming back to home from office, there was a huge crowd in the road. I first thought it might be an accident, but it turned out to be the crowd looking at one of the buildings, which collapsed. I thought this is going to be a big buzz, but when I saw the newspapers this morning, there were no enough news except in The Hindu & Times of India. From the news, they claim that there was some work going on in the top floor and it collapsed first. Then few minutes later, due to the weight of the collapsed floor, the floor below that collapsed. And then the one below. Finally all the floors collapsed and it took around an hour, so every worker in the site were miraculously escaped. Only four got injured, that too because they fell down while running away from the site. When police arrived at the site, all the 100+ workers and engineers were already taken to a "safe place". This includes the injured persons, who got treated in near by hospital as out patients. Even before preliminary investigations begun, the Prestige group says that there were no damages to the super structure and no loss of life. The first one is a lie, as I can visibly see at least 3 pillars in a bent position. You can see one of the pillars in the below image from The Hindu:

 

The second one also could be a lie, because I don't believe that only 100 people will be working in that 100 acre project. Now this raises few questions. Why were all the eye witnesses removed from the place immediately. They were able to find the reason and blame the Malaysian company as soon as the building collapsed. They never did any investigation. How did they arrive at the decision. Now that we know that if a contractor gives a product, no matter the quality is, they will simply use it. There is absolutely no quality control. What about the buildings which are not collapsed? They might collapse as soon as someone move in?

Its not just the building that collapsed. Its the trust on the Prestige Groups that is collapsed. I guess it will be tough for them to sell any more high rise buildings. The ones that are already sold out, might be coming for a resale at a very cheaper prices and there will be no takers. This will propagate to other high raise buildings as well.

Irony of this is looking at the site plan, they have named this building as "World Trade Center, Tower B"

Posted in Labels: , |

12 comments:

  1. A. S. Says:

    Hi Prakash:

    Thanks for the info. Such collapses are the crucibles for learning for the engineering community. Unfortunately the developers and the whole construciton community will now try to hush up the issue and we will be none the wiser as to why and how the structure failed. In other coutnries such failures are the precursors to changes in the codes etc. Here we bury our failures along with the dead so that they can't tell tales.

  2. Siddarth Says:

    I am really disappointed that a builder like Prestige Contructions is no longer reliable. Today for them the focus is only on making money. God is kind that the building did not collapse after people moved in. I would definitely not recommend any body to Prestige after this incident.

  3. Prem Shenoy Says:

    To my knowledge, I would like to elaborate on the questions asked in the Post. These comments are purely mine, may not have any connection with the matter under post. You need to check out for the correctness of my statements on your own.

    1.What are the Quality standards and testing process available in market for construction Industry?
    There are plenty of them. Indian and International Standards are available and are supposed to be understood and followed on the Materials, Analysis, Design, Sampling, Procedures on Usage, Assembly , Erection, safety ,QA ,QC, Documentation , Etc. ...The List is endless, so to say. These are expected to be followed by the Promotors, Developers, Architects, Structural Engineers, Project Managers, Supervisors, Fabricators, Carpenters, Masons, safety Supervisors
    2.If a Builder claims they are ISO 9001 certified, What does it mean?

    This just means that he has an INTERNAL system developed by HIM and he is following it strictly. If he states that he is outsourcing the professional services, he need not even check whether the service provider is ISO 9001 Certified. Even if the service provider is Certified, is it for the Design too? Check it out.
    3.What type of audits are done by Government Authority before issuing occupancy certificate?
    Lets start from the beginning, with the Licensing. The Land Document needs to be perfect, The Zone of construction,( Residential, Commercial, Agricultural, Industrial, etc..) should not be violated. If any conversion is required, it needs to applied for and done. The plans need to be approved for single site or layout. The Widening/ Roads proposal need to be considered. While preparing the Plans, the engineer/Architect ( he needs to have prior Licence / registration) needs to provide enough setbacks( free space all around the building(s) after leaving the space for widening). If it is a Multi-Storied Building, Soil Investigation report, A Structural Design Report from a qualified Structural engineer, containing the detailed analysis and design of the components, are to be enclosed along with the Application for the Licence. For all buildings above 15 m. height, a No Objection Certificate needs to be obtained from the state Fire and Safety Department. This will demand a separate scheme prepared by the builder showing the facilities for the fire tender movement, Installation of Internal safety and fire fighting equipment, location of escape stairs and routes, etc., as given in Part4 of National Building Code of India 2005. ( This latest Code gives special emphasis on the Fire and Safety aspects, detailing even to the thickness of walls and slabs for the fire resistance..). Some more NOCs will be required from Pollution Control Board, Environment and Forest Department to satisfy CRZ rules, Inspectorate of Factories, Police stations, National Highway Department, etc. for certain types of buildings and their locations. If the project is too large, probably the builder need to organize a public hearing too. Based on these ( !), the authority issues a Licence to start construction ( Commencement Certificate) to the applicant. This will be valid for Some period and the builder needs to complete the construction within a stipulated period.(3 years?) If the construction is not complete, the builder can request for extension. BBMP may or may not grant an extension based on the quantity of completed construction. But if the Applicant has not even started the construction and licence expires, a new application may have to be filed with all the details, based on the rules prevailing.
    During construction, Government officials can stop the construction if it is not as per the details in the licensed drawings. Normally, They will act only if there is a complaint.
    Once the construction is over, the applicant applies for a completion / occupancy certificate which gets him door Nos and Tax evaluation for individual door Nos. At this time too, BBMP officials are supposed(?) to cross check the licensed drgs and completed drgs. Many times extra area is constructed in excess of licensed area. Upto 25% of excess areas were allowed in residential construction in the Mysore Corporation with fine.
    The builders wait for New regulations and interim Acts or amendments to regularize the violations in the area and setbacks. One Such amendment on the act was passed by the Cabinet last year Under AKRAMA SAKRAMA Scheme, which has become a mockery ( probably the biggest) and the builders were divided on the pros and cons, small time house owners paid the fine, now they are getting refunds from the Government. The real result is small house owners are exposed for the violations, big timers escaped (!) without disclosers, blaming the government not clear on the modality , extent of fine and recovery. The COMMISSIONERS can with hold the completion certificates if there are changes in construction, and may even order for demolition if the construction is not as per the licence and affecting the public or public amenities.


    4.What happens if there is a major flaw in the design or construction? Will investors have to accept because building has been constructed or Builder will go back to their design workshop and rectify the problem? Any case study where it has happened?
    This is where our buyers need to wake up. Specifications are supposed to be given in the initial agreement between the Seller and the buyer. The Licence No. and the contents are expected to be a part of the agreement. If the structural Design is not as per the one given in the Licence application, or the specs are not, the buyer can simply go to the consumer court. But if the structural design is as per the one given in the licence and it is proved faulty, probably BBMP also could be pulled to court.
    5.What are the insurance policy available for Fire, Earthquake, any natural disasters or an mankind accident?
    All the general insurance companies have these policies, even for your equipment theft
    6.Which is the nearest Fire Station in Whitefield? Does this Fire Station have the capability to fight fire at 20th Floor?
    Just Call 101
    7.Does every apartment has Fire alerts? Fire Alarm, Water Sprinkler etc
    The New National Building Code Part4 elaborates on these.
    8.What measures should I take for Fire? May be install Fire Extinguisher. Just having Fire Extinguisher may not be sufficient, I also need to learn how to use it.
    Every builder should Give a detailed demonstration of the safety facilities incorporated in the Building, from the usage of Lifts to Pumping of water to the Tank , operation of Valves, to the Operation of generators to the Inverters, change overs, MCBs. The Buyers need to keep the Documentation Library with user manuals and operating instructions, warranty Cards, at a common accessible place. The Important Telephone Nos of BESCOM, Lift Suppliers, Police Stations, Fire Stations, Ambulance, etc. ( other than just 100,101 and 102) need to be displayed.
    My Comments to the post, are all probably from a most pessimistic approach to the most pessimist of the society. Cutting the corners for minor profits make the difference.
    Anyways, do not hesitate to buy a flat. Let the collapse of one portion of one tower of one project of one otherwise reputed builder not cast a shadow in our minds. Our Builders , Architects, Engineers and Contractors and of course, the authorities are not all that bad to be suspected for the genuine delivery of what we ask for.
    Prem Shenoy

  4. Mani Says:

    Just noticed while on the way to ITPL, that the corner portion of the building that collapsed doesnt seem to have the beam on which the roof and the wall can rest. For all the other portions, the beams are visible. I am not sure whether this is any civil Engineering funda???

  5. hummm! thanks I didnot book a place in this place Says:

    no comments

  6. dinakaran R Says:

    MUD SLINGING DOES NOT HELP BUDDY. YOU CAN DO NOTHING ABOUT IT JUST HARP ABOUT IT AND HOPE TO GET SOME HITS ON YOUR SITE. GET REAL THEY ARE THE BEST AND WILL ALWAYS BE

  7. Anil Says:

    Mr. Dinakaran,

    Hope you got the latest news on wall collapse in Prestige Shantinikethan and two laborers died and its a irony that you still believe, they are the best!!!!!!

  8. rakesh Says:

    Im sure this Prem Shenoy guy works for Prestige or some other builder. Out here in Bangalore, rules are flouted like nobody's business. As long as you bribe the right people, you can build an apartment like this using scrap metal, pebbles and mud on a lake bed.

  9. Farooq Iqbal Says:

    Mr.Dinakar,

    Speak some sort of logic.

    Mr.Anil,

    Have u seen 2 dead bodies.from where u get this false news.


    Mr.Rakesh,

    I think u r an expert in bribing & using scrap materials.

    Dear All,

    We are educated lets not point one another & find mistakes.Discuss or write things which will be helpful or informative.And let us not be like THE NEWS CHANNELS who always try to give a big story out of nothing.Hope u all take positively & write something GOOD in future.

  10. abdul Says:

    i am one of the customers & i have already paid full amount for a flat except for the interiors at shanthiniketan. i am in a rented house , hoping to get the flat possession but now dissapointed

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
    Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Prestige shantiniketan is built by Malasyian construction who have not done any projects in India.Prestige employed new Engineers for the project even the contractor recruited new engineers .I would like to suggest clients not to buy flats in Prestige Shantiniketan and Software Cos not to occupy the Office space as they will be risking the life of their employees