APMC market to undergo structural audit | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

APMC market to undergo structural audit

Jun 13, 2024 07:24 AM IST

Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation issues notices to APMC wholesale market for structural audit of buildings, some declared high risk. Redevelopment stalled for years.

Navi Mumbai: The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation has issued notices to the Mumbai Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) wholesale market to undertake a structural audit of all its buildings in various complexes. The civic body has declared some buildings high risk, asking them to be demolished immediately.

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The APMC market spread over 175 acres in Turbe, was shifted from Mumbai to Navi Mumbai in 1982 to help decongest the island city, making it the largest wholesale market in Asia at that time.

Over the years, there have been instances of roofs coming off, platforms at the galas breaking down, plasters falling and cracks visible in several pillars.

In 2004-2005, NMMC first declared the onion and potato market as a C1 category required to be vacated immediately and demolished. Later the central facility building in the spices market and MAFCO market was also declared dangerous. Despite multiple warnings, APMC authorities have taken minimal action.

Redevelopment projects have been stalled for years due to opposition, FSI issues, and costs. Despite the challenges, gala owners and workers have continued to operate from the buildings.

Mehboob Bepari, deputy engineer of APMC, said, “APMC had prepared a redevelopment plan for the onion-potato market. But traders objected. They are demanding additional FSI, which is difficult. The matter is in court and hence sub-judice. We have been constantly approaching the traders to vacate and find a solution to this long pending issue.”

Last year in July, a balcony collapsed in the F gully of the onion market. There was no loss of life or injury since the incident took place at night. Four months later, in November, a roof partially collapsed in the Y gully of the grains market, seriously injuring two workers.

“Where do the traders go? There have been several plans and projects, but nothing has worked out yet,” said Ashok Karpe, an onion wholesaler. “It is high time a resolution is found for an important market where many people operate.”

Dr Rahul Gethe, deputy municipal commissioner (anti-encroachment) said that despite several reminders, APMC, a high-density area, has not followed the process. “Thousands of people work and visit the market daily, and they could face dangers. Incoming trucks also cause vibrations in the structures. The notices have been issued to ensure compliance at the earliest,” said Gethe.

Gethe said they had not taken any immediate action as it is a government-run market vital for agriculture-based supplies to the region. “However, stakeholders need to take up the options available for everyone’s safety,” he said.

When contacted, Suresh Mohade, APMC executive engineer, said, “For a structural audit of all the buildings, NMMC notices will be placed before the APMC board to pass a resolution. Action will then be taken.”

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