An annual pre-monsoon building survey conducted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has found 740 buildings to be in an extremely dangerous (C 1 category) condition. This is a significant jump from last year, when the same survey found 542 buildings to be extremely dangerous.
According to data compiled by the disaster management cell, there are 146 buildings in island city, 286 in the eastern suburbs and 308 in the western suburbs that are on the verge of collapse.
The civic body has sent notices to residents of these buildings to vacate their homes before the beginning of the monsoon to avoid any kind of human loss in case of a collapse. The civic body’s list includes private, government and its own buildings, which need immediate eviction. However, most of the buildings are yet to be vacated because of unwilling residents.
Civic officials said notices are being sent to residents, but most are reluctant to move. “In such cases, where residents are resisting eviction, we are filing affidavits in court explaining the issue so that in case of any mishap, we should not be held responsible,” said a civic official.
The BMC has had very little success in the past in evicting such people from crumbling buildings because of court litigation. A senior civic official said, “In several cases, residents are not ready to move because they fear they may lose their homes or it will take them many years to redevelop buildings. Also, for residents of municipal-owned buildings, alternative accommodation is a major issue.”
Another senior civic official from the building maintenance department said, “If residents of municipal-owned dilapidated buildings refuse to vacate, then civic officials can cut their water and electricity supply.”