It warns citizens to move out of dilapidated buildings, but the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) senior officers, including deputy and assistant commissioners, are themselves living in dangerous structures.
Of the 876 ‘vulnerable’ buildings on the BMC’s pre-monsoon survey report, 156 dilapidated buildings belong to the corporation.
The building, D-2 ‘Kinara’ on Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Road in Worli, is one of them. It was constructed at least 30 years ago and has not been vacated although it is in bad shape.
The plaster and ceiling over the staircase are crumbling and the building has developed cracks. Only a few damaged flats have are being vacated.
This building is home to Deputy Municipal Commissioner Govind Rathod, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of P-North Ward (Malad) Vijay Balamwar and a former assistant municipal commissioner (estate department), among other senior civic officials.
“The building is extremely dangerous to live in we have no option,” said a BMC official, who has been living in the building for more than five years. The official, who did not wish to be named, said the BMC should permit them to reconstruct the building. “People are living here on the edge,” said a relative of the civic official. Municipal Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya confirmed that the seven-storey building housed top civic officials. “The building will soon be vacated and the officials housed elsewhere,” Kshatriya said.
The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority last week declared 24 buildings in south Mumbai too dangerous to be inhabited. Mumbai’s Guardian Minister Jayant Patil met some of the 885 residents of these buildings and told them to vacate their houses in eight days or face forcible eviction.