Two years after declaring the structure extremely dangerous, the BMC has decided to carry out the demolition of Shivaji market one floor at a time, taking into consideration requirements of fisher-folk who operate from there. The proposal for demolishing four floors of Shivaji market near Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus --- an exercise costing Rs 2.6 crore --- will be tabled before the BMC’s standing committee on Friday.
The civic body has so far failed to shift the fish wholesalers and exporters operating out of the building to alternative accommodation and will now allow them to continue working out of the same building. It had last year decided on shifting them to Crawford market, but the plan was later abandoned because of space constraints.
The demolition of the building’s top four floors will be carried out one floor at a time, said BMC officials, leaving the ground and mezzanine floors to the fisher-folk. The process will take about two months, with work being carried out during the monsoon, officials said.
Rajiv Kuknur, chief engineer, building maintenance, said, "We have appointed contractors who can carry out such demolitions even while there are people in the building."
The fish wholesalers claimed that exports of worth about Rs 5 crore are made out of Shivaji market.
"We have been promised that precautions regarding our safety will be taken and as they have not been able to give us alternative accommodation in the surrounding areas, we will not be leaving these premises," one of the fisher-folk said, requesting anonymity.