Following Friday’s collapse of dilapidated Rahim Manzil building, which claimed five lives, the state government has decided to take stringent action against those unwilling to move out of such structures.
In a meeting chaired by city’s guardian minister Jayant Patil and attended by minister of state for housing Sachin Ahir, a decision was taken to be strict on tenants, who don’t pay heed to warnings and refuse to move out of such structures.
“We cannot allow people to die and as a last resort would be forced to evict such tenants,” said Ahir. He said apart from the residents, even pedestrians and others, who frequent these buildings, are at risk.
Ahir said that the state would make provisions for alternate accommodation of the tenants in Mhada transit camps and would also help to carry out repair work of these buildings.
Unlike for years, when Mhada released the list of dilapidated buildings just before the monsoon season, this time it has been decided to publish such lists every three months.
Residents have expressed apprehensive over the use of force. “People are ready to move but reluctance is due to track record of the state where people have been languishing in transit camps for decades without any relief,” said Nimesh Mehta, vice-president, Girni Chawl Bhadekaru Sangharsha Kruti Mahasangh. He demanded a time- bound programme to return back to the original tenements.
The collapse of dilapidated structures, occurring with regular frequency in the island city, has claimed many innocent lives. While the landlords do not repair the structure on the grounds of meagre rents (the rents have been frozen at 1940 level), the tenants shy due to prohibitory costs.
Last year, Mhada released the list of 24 extremely dangerous structures and warned them to move out.
Of these, only 11 moved out to transit accommodations.