Even as anger among residents in Atladara area of Vadodara, where the twin buildings collapsed, runs high, the investigations suffered its first blow when former chairman of Vadodara Urban Development Authority (VUDA), K K Shah, passed away, following a massive heart attack on Friday morning. Shah, who was the chairman of VUDA when the two ill-fated buildings were constructed, was 77.
Just a day before, police sources investigating the building collapse had said that all VUDA officers, present and former, who had sanctioned or been involved in the process of constructing the building in 2001, would be booked for criminal negligence. Those close to Shah said that the former BJP city chief had not been keeping well for the last few days.
A friend of Shah says, “He was disturbed since the buildings had crashed, but he did not say much about it. We really do not know if it weighed on his mind. He did have age-related health issues, but his sudden demise comes as a shock.” Shah retired as VUDA chairman in 2002.
Chief Minister Narendra Modi, whose website mentioned Thursday that the ill-fated buildings were built between 1999-2001, tweeted Friday, “Saddened by the demise of Krishnakant bhai Shah, our senior party karyakarta from Vadodara. May his soul rest in peace.” Shah’s last rites were held in the city crematorium on Friday evening.