"Twenty years ago, when I came to live in one of these flats after getting married, I was told that we would be required to vacate the houses very soon because they were dilapidated. People had requested the Bhopal Municipal Corporation to shift them to a safer place, but that never happened," said Mohini Chingaria, a resident of Vinoba Colony.
Mohini is not the only resident to complain of the 20-year-old issue. Other occupants too said that the crumbling houses were a common sight and that they had been pleading with the BMC administration to undertake repair-work or to shift them elsewhere for the past two decades.
It should be noted that the BMC has a statutory duty to mark dangerous buildings and get them vacated; however, the body has reportedly been in talks with occupants for the past 15 years and has still failed to solve the problem.
Jassobai Makoriya, 62, another occupant, said, "The flat had been constructed in 1957. We paid the installments for the purchase till 1980, after which we got the “patta” of the flat. But now the building is in a dilapidated condition. The plaster of the roof falls off often and a part of the building has also collapsed but BMC has done nothing for us.
“Some officers did promise us of some action, but nothing happened yet," said Kanchan Haveli, 32.
Uday Haveli, 50, said, "We are poor. BMC officers said that we would be shifted to another place but we would have to pay money for it. When we received the “patta” of these houses by paying installments, why should we pay to get shifted again?"
Local corporator Mewalal said, "I had also intimated BMC officers about the condition of the building. They inspected the building but didn't take any action in this regard."
However, BMC commissioner said, "For the past 15 years, the BMC is trying to convince residents to relocate, but they were keep refusing because they want free houses which is not possible for us. We have now formed a six-member committee, which includes a local corporator to resolve the issue and come up with solution for this problem."