Bhopal: Over 75 old, unfit structures to face civic body’s hammer
Bhopal Municipal Corporation has identified over 900 old structures in Bhopal, out of which over 75 are in such a dilapidated condition that they have been categorised under ‘unfit for human habitation’.bhopal Updated: Jul 12, 2016 16:32 IST
Bhopal Municipal Corporation has identified over 900 old structures in Bhopal, out of which over 75 are in such a dilapidated condition that they have been categorised under ‘unfit for human habitation’.
BMC has served notices, including 270 notices under section 309 (buildings that are repairable) of Municipal Corporation Act 1956, to owners of these 900 dilapidated structures, BMC city engineer (civil) AK Nanda said.
With heavy rainfall, there is always a possibility that some old buildings and structures may collapse in the city. But BMC has miserably failed to check such incidents. Over the years many residential and official structures have collapsed fully or partially in Bhopal, claiming many lives on a regular basis.
After any such incidents, BMC starts serving more notices to the owners of dilapidated buildings and promises action. A list of the dangerous and dilapidated buildings is compiled by BMC every year as part of its pre-monsoon activity.
Over the last few years the number of such buildings has ranged in few hundreds. Every year BMC serves notices and takes action against some buildings, but most of the dilapidated structures continue to be there, endangering lives of people.
Few days ago, due to heavy shows in Bhopal, the wall of National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTR) collapsed, damaging vehicles parked nearby. Last year on October 13, two people died when the boundary wall of a flyover collapsed near Railway Station area. During monsoon of 2014, a wall collapsed over a house at Lal Ghati here, killing a couple and orphaning their two children.
Public buildings, heritage structures and over-head tanks also endangering people’s lives
It is not just the dilapidated residential structures that pose threat to people, but the public buildings and structures like walls, heritage structures and over-head tanks are also endangering the lives of people. In November 2012, seven persons were killed and 35 others injured when an overhead water tank collapsed in Sai Baba Nagar slum area.
Social activist Abdul Jabbar said dilapidated heritage structures were also posing threat to people in Bhopal.
“The historic Moti Mahal and the adjacent gateway, connecting Shaukat Mahal, are in a bad shape. A part of roof of the about 150-year-old Moti Mahal had collapsed in July 2011, weakening the structure and the adjoining gateway,” he said. “While the dilapidated part of Moti Mahal is not inhabited now, the adjoining gateway poses danger to the citizens who pass under it every day to reach the old city parts including Hamidia Hospital and the BMC headquarters Sadar Manzil.”
In August 2013, ironically it was a Bhopal Municipal Corporation employee who died when part of a dilapidated residential structure collapsed on him near Durga Chowk in Talaiya area of the Old City.
Afzal, 50, who was employed as watchman in the garden section of BMC, was going for duty in the morning, when he got buried under the rubble and died on the spot.
When contacted BMC commissioner Chhavi Bhardwaj maintained BMC faced many practical difficulties in demolishing the dilapidated buildings as there were disputes between owners and tenants and several structures were already in litigation.
“There are over 900 old structures in Bhopal out of which nearly 75 are unfit for human habitation. This year, we have demolished three dilapidated structures in the city. But we can’t take action against all dilapidated and dangerous structures. We also have to think about alternative arrangements for their housing,” he said.
BMC officials also said that apart from disputed nature of such structures, people approach influential people that they were being targeted and cite humanitarian reasons that they had no other accommodation where they can go in the rainy season.
BMC to demolish all the dilapidated structures in Bhopal: Mayor
However mayor Alok Sharma stressed that loss of life cannot be risked hence they have decided to demolish all the dilapidated structures in Bhopal. “We will also get the nagar nigam quarters which are occupied, vacated and then demolish them. If someone will object to this, then we will file a first information report against them.”
“As soon the conditions improve here (with regard to rain), we will start demolishing some of old and dangerous structures. Till now we have demolished a structure at Khajanchi Gali, Ibrahimpura,” anti-encroachment inspector old city Qamar Saqib said.
“Houses behind Vishal Shadi hall at Chhola road have also been dismantled. Some houses at Chandbarh have also been demolished. Our next target is Aishbag stadium area and Nagar Nigam quarters at Berasia colony,” he added.