With around 25,000 buildings that are more than 30 years old, the Thane Municipal Corporation will require at least Rs 10,000 crore to carry out a structural audit of all these buildings, repair them and rehabilitate the residents. Thane civic commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal made this announcement before the general body at a special meeting held on Tuesday.
Twelve people lost their lives after 52-year-old Krishna Niwas building collapsed in Thane a week ago. The collapse revived the debate on the lack of structural audits of old buildings.
“According to the property records of 1984-85, there are around 25,000 buildings in the city that are more than 30 years old. The data on whether these buildings are dangerous, safe, legal or illegal is not available. As per the rules, it is mandatory to carry out an audit of all these buildings. However, we have no mechanism of knowing how many of them have carried out a structural audit,” Jaiswal said.
The corporation has now issued a circular that says if these buildings do not carry out the audit, the corporation will conduct an audit and charge property tax along with a fine of Rs 25,000.
“If the corporation has to carry out structural audit of these buildings, we will need a budget of over Rs 100 crore only for the audit. Also, to carry out repairs, an additional expense of Rs6,250 crore will be incurred. Another issue is rehabilitating residents,” he said.
At present, the city has more than 2,700 dangerous buildings, in which 94,000 families live (3.5 lakh residents). “To rehabilitate these people, we will need a space of 1.84 crore sqft if we consider 160-200 sqft a flat. If we then consider the entire cost for audit, repair and rehabilitation of 25,000 buildings, it comes up to Rs 10,000 crore,” Jaiswal said.