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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

These Pune wadas are one downpour away from destruction

Civic body has issued notices to residents of 275 structures - majority of them living in wadas - to evacuate the dangerous buildings which are disasters waiting to happen in monsoon

pune Updated: Jun 28, 2019 14:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Wadas, like this one in Kasba peth, are historic structures. However, the dilapidated buildings are not fit to live in.
Wadas, like this one in Kasba peth, are historic structures. However, the dilapidated buildings are not fit to live in.(Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)

Warnings and legal notices have not stopped residents from staying in old and dilapidated wadas and houses putting their lives at risk. With the arrival of the monsoon, such dangerous structures in old city and fringe areas, have come under the civic body’s scanner.

On June 25, a woman died in Dattawadi after a wall collapsed when heavy rains lashed the city. Sangita Randive, 48, a ragpicker, died after a wall collapsed at Janata Vasahat.

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has been urging residents to vacate old wadas, mostly located in peth areas, however, resistance by the inhabitants has forced the civic authorities take the help of police officials to shift them from such dangerous structures.

Residents of these old, dilapidated structures often fear that they will lose their claim over the building once the builder redevelops the structure, said Rajendra Raut, executive engineer in the city engineer’s office.

“Every year before the onset of the monsoon, PMC conducts a survey of dangerous structures, which are mainly old buildings in the city. PMC has identified 275 structures this year and has issued notices to them,” said Raut.

“PMC appeals to the owners and tenants of such dangerous structures to vacate the premises to avoid untoward incident during the monsoon. The civic body has also issued notices to the inhabitants of the wada in this regard with the help of police officials,” he added.

Despite a portion of the wada crumbled, residents continue to live here in Kasba peth.
Despite a portion of the wada crumbled, residents continue to live here in Kasba peth. ( Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO )

Savita Deshpande, who stays in Narayan peth said, “We have been staying in this building since the last two generations. If we are shifted from here, we will lose our right on the property.”

Raut said that the PMC has given intimation to 175 structures which are in a very bad state and has asked residents to vacate the building. Additionally, the civic body has served a notice to owners of 275 structures to carry out repairs of their old buildings or vacate it.

“Residents of many wadas do not leave the structure, despite knowing that it is dangerous as they are worried that if they vacate the place, they might lose their right over the land. We assure them that such a situation won’t arise as the civic body maintains a record and even residents have a property tax receipt of the structures,” Raut said.

In the past one year, PMC demolished 125 old buildings, but faced difficulty in demolishing old wadas.

Another resident of the old city area, Satish Gulve, said, “If we shift from the place, we will need to pay rent which will be very expensive for us and beyond our capacity. Hence, we do not want to shift.”

PMC has issued public notices and has appealed to residents to conduct a survey of buildings and carry out necessary repair work.

Raut said that earlier the PMC was only concentrating on old buildings, wadas in the peth areas, but since building collapse incidences have been reported from the outskirts of the city as well, the civic administration staff have been instructed to issue intimation letters to properties which might collapse in those areas as well.


PMC demolished 125 dilapidated wadas and parts of such buildings in the year 2018-19

PMC gave intimation to 175 buildings

PMC issued notice to the 275 structures

Earlier, the PMC focussed mainly in the old city areas as majority of the old structures were present there, including the historic wadas. However, after the civic body’s geographical limit increased and various surrounding villages merged into the PMC limits, structures from these areas have also been identified. PMC is planning to conduct a survey of dangerous structures in the merged villages soon, said Raut.

According to PMC, it is mandatory for all buildings to conduct a structural audit which are more than 30 years old.

City gets showers, to continue till July 3

The city on Thursday received 71mm rainfall. The India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune, has forecast more showers for the city.

The India Meteorological Department on Thursday has forecast light to moderate showers for the city till July3.

According to the IMD forecast, Pune will continue to receive showers, but will not get heavy rains in the coming week. Also, parts of central Maharashtra and Marathwada will receive light rainfall for the next few days.

“As far as Pune city is concerned, we are expecting light to moderate rains in the city and its adjoining areas for the next one week,” said IMD officials.

The daily maximum temperature of the city was recorded at 30 degrees Celsius on Thursday, while the minimum temperature was 23.7 degrees Celsius.

First Published: Jun 28, 2019 14:26 IST

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