More than 300 dilapidated buildings in Mumbai face an uncertain future.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) structural auditing drive, started more than a year ago, seems to be yielding no result, as the ward offices have failed to take action on the 280 buildings that need urgent repairs or on the 83 structures that need to be demolished.
The issue was highlighted once again on Wednesday when a 21-year-old died after a slab collapse in a dilapidated building at Kamathipura.
The BMC had started the structural auditing process in 2013, after the collapse of a market building at Dockyard Road claimed 61 lives.
Post the collapse, the civic body started auditing structures that were 30 years and above from November 2013 to know their status.
However, almost two years later, of the 3,192 buildings in the jurisdiction of BMC, only 751 have been audited. The audit of 49 buildings is still pending.
While the responsibility of the audit fell on the shoulders of the estate department of the BMC, further work of repairs, vacation and demolition was to be undertaken by the local ward offices.
However, if the estate department officials are to be believed, the ward offices have failed to take any action despite several reminders.
Post the slab collapse at Kamathipura, the estate department once again sent a reminder to various ward offices.
“Our office received a compliance reminder last month, but nothing after that. We have been following up with the residents and asking them to vacate their houses, but they have refused to do so. Moreover, we need police force during the evacuation drive and they are not always available,” said a ward official, requesting anonymity.
Moreover, of the 83 buildings that need to be demolished, the BMC has sought second opinion on 30 structures. The estate department is yet to receive the technical advisory committee report on that.
Vishvas Shankarwar, assistant municipal commissioner of estate department, said: “We have audited around 751 buildings till now and we have informed the ward offices on their status. We are yet to receive any report from the ward offices on the action taken and have sent various reminders for it.”