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Monsoon check: BMC marks 619 buildings in Mumbai dangerous

Every year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), as part of its monsoon preparedness drive, identifies buildings at risk of collapse during the rains

mumbai Updated: May 18, 2018 00:57 IST
Sagar Pillai
Sagar Pillai
Hindustan Times
BMC,Mumbai monsoon,Dangerous buildings
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, as part of its monsoon preparedness drive, identifies buildings at risk of collapse during the rains.(Hindustan Times)

The Mumbai civic body has asked more than 7,500 residents living in 619 dilapidated buildings to vacate their homes before the monsoon begins in the city.

Every year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), as part of its monsoon preparedness drive, identifies buildings at risk of collapse during the rains.

This year, it has put 619 buildings in the C-1, or “dangerous to live”, category and issued notices to its residents vacate them. In 2017, the BMC had identified 791 dilapidated structures across the city.

Of the 619 structures, the BMC has already had 72 buildings evacuated and is demolishing them, while a proposal to demolish 41 others has been tabled before its Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

In Mumbai, the TAC is the only committee deciding if old buildings need repairs or should be demolished — buildings in the C-2 category require major structural repairs, while those in the C-3 category need minor repairs.

Most of the buildings on the BMC’s list are in the L ward — Kurla and Sakinaka — which have 106 dilapidated structures, followed by Ghatkopar with 51 buildings.

“So far, electricity and water connections of 120 buildings have been disconnected, and we have informed the police department about the buildings that need to be evacuated, Nidhi Choudhari, the deputy municipal commissioner, said.

“The same process is being followed for the other dilapidated structures and we are trying our best to evacuate them as soon as possible as every life is important.”

Civic officials, however, point out that getting residents to leave their homes is difficult, as residents often go to court and get a stay on demolition. “A structural audit is carried out to check the condition of the building and declare the level of danger, a senior civic official said. “After this, we send notices to residents of the dilapidated buildings to vacate the premises. Nearly 174 buildings have a court stay on them and nothing can be done until further orders.”

HT had reported in November that the BMC has framed a new policy for C-1 buildings which protects the rights of the residents and mandates a structural audit before declaring the building as dilapidated.

Residents of dilapidated structures are unwilling to move out as they fear redevelopment will take a lot of time and they may have to spend years living in badly maintained transit camps.

Further, many of them fear the builders would cheat them and they would end up losing their homes after redevelopment.

Ramesh Prabhu, chairman of the Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association, said, “There have been several instances where the developer has stopped paying rent to residents, owing to several reasons leading to project delays, after they vacate the buildings. Considering the current market conditions, the project completion cannot be estimated because of which residents are unwilling to move. More than 50% of redevelopment projects in the city is stuck due to several reasons.”

First Published: May 18, 2018 00:56 IST