Keshavji Naik chawl, where Lokmanya Tilak started the city’s first sarvajanik Ganesh utsav in 1,893, is among the 19 structures on the state’s ‘most dangerous buildings’ list. This means these buildings are at the risk of collapsing anytime, especially when there are heavy rains. Residents of all 19 buildings have been sent a notice, which orders them to shift out.
The Mumbai Buildings Repair and Reconstruction Board (MBRRB), a part of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada), draws up the list every year after a pre-monsoon survey.
All the buildings are on the island city, and the board has sent notices to 603 families. “We have transit accommodations ready for these tenants,” said Sachin Ahir, state minister for housing. “They should either repair their building or go for redevelopment. We will provide every possible help.” Ahir said more than 400 families in these building have already shifted out.
The other buildings include the Esplanade Mansion at Fort, Botawala Chawl at Mazagaon, Shethna Niwas at Chandanwadi, Bandookwala Chawl at Parel and Bhageshwar Bhavan at Mahim.
The ‘most dangerous buildings’ list has fewer buildings this year than it has had in the previous two years. In 2010, the list had 24 buildings; in 2009, the figure was 35. Only six buildings from the 2010 list have made it to this year’s list. Explaining the falling numbers, PP Maheshi, resident executive engineer of the MBRRB, said: “There are options like redevelopment available now so the situation has improved considerably,” he said.
Many old, privately owned structures in south and central Mumbai have been neglected for years and are in a dilapidated state owing to landlords getting meagre rents and the poor economic condition of the tenants.