Residents and owners of old buildings in Mumbai will have to be vigilant about the facades of their homes.
The state government is keen on amending the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act to ensure that building facades are kept clean and areas like Marine Drive and Worli sea face maintain uniform architectural norms for building facades. The idea is to give Mumbai its own character and personality like many global cities are known to have.
The Cabinet approved this amendment on Friday. It will now be tabled before the state assembly during the budget session in March.
The amendment gives powers to civic body to spruce up Mumbai’s buildings from the outside. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will carry out a survey of buildings with dirty facades and then give notice to such residents to improve it. If the work is not carried out in a month, BMC will do the work itself and recover expenses by way of property tax arrears.
The BMC can also draw up beautification norms for certain areas. There all the buildings will have to maintain uniform facades. Experts are, however, sceptical of the proposed amendment. They questioned whether beautification can be a priority for Mumbai when the main concern should be safety. “What’s the point of painting buildings in uniform colour when you have allowed construction norms that have destroyed the character of buildings like the Art Deco ones at Marine Drive?’’ said art historian Sharada Dwivedi.
This is the second time the state’s urban development department will table the Bill. It was introduced in the last monsoon session but was not cleared. Since the new government was formed in November, the amendment had to get cabinet clearance once again.