With the monsoon barely a month away and the Kalbadevi fire acting as a wake-up call, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finally swung into action to tackle the issue of dilapidated buildings in Mumbai.
The BMC, which has so far failed to take any concrete action on the issue, filed affidavits explaining the status of the buildings to the court and sent eviction notices to 774 buildings across the city in the past one week.
These structures fall under the C-1 category (extremely dangerous and dilapidated and in need of immediate evacuation).
“We do not want to take any risks regarding the dilapidated structures in the city. Hence, along with sending eviction notices, we decided to keep the court in the loop about the threat posed by these buildings, as it was directed by the municipal commissioner,” said Pallavi Darade, additional municipal commissioner.
Meanwhile, the technical advisory committee of the civic body — which handles grievances on repairs and building’s structural stability — heard nine such cases on Tuesday.
Civic chief Ajoy Mehta had ordered the legal department and assistant municipal commissioners of all 24 wards to tackle the issue with utmost importance and to file the affidavit in the court.
The under-repair Gokul Nivas building in Kalbadevi collapsed on Saturday while firemen were trying to douse a major fire in the structure.
Every year, the BMC surveys dilapidated buildings and issues notices to their residents. However, so far it has not been successful in taking any concrete action, as in most cases, the residents refuse to grant their concessions.
Delay in getting other approvals, and dillydallying between various departments of the civic body are other reasons behind the lack of action.
The HC had last year given power to the BMC to forcibly evict tenants, while protecting their rights. However, civic officials said they still find it difficult to make residents leave their dilapidated homes.