Mumbai: BMC panel breather for decrepit buildings

  • Chetna Yerunkar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 25, 2015 22:37 IST

More than 330 of the 561 buildings declared dilapidated by the civic body in south and central Mumbai have been saved from demolition by the technical advisory committee.

The committee said at least 60% of the buildings declared as dilapidated by the local ward offices can be repaired.

The panel was formed in 2014 to tackle the rising number of disputes between buildings and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), after the structural audit reports varied and many residents approached court to stop the demolition.

So far, the committee has held 164 hearings and forwarded the repair orders to the ward offices.

The list of dilapidated buildings includes 491 municipal structures and 70 private ones.

The BMC, however, will only repair the civic buildings.

Laxman Vhatkar, chairperson of the committee and director, BMC, said they had sent the decision to the ward offices concerned. “A majority of the buildings were municipal properties,” he said.

After the collapse of a market building at Dockyard Road in 2013, which killed 61 people, the civic body started to carry out structural audits of buildings constructed more than 30 years ago.

Civic officials claim despite the panel’s order, many residents and tenants of buildings continue to approach court when they are served with eviction notices, which further delays the redevelopment process.

“For instance, recently, the technical committee decided that 12 out of the 16 municipal buildings at Tadwadi could be repaired, and the remaining needed to be evicted. Despite the panel giving orders in favour of residents, buildings take the matter to court,” said a civic official, requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

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