INDIA. Mumbai: The BMC has disconnected the water supply and electricity of 154 dilapidated buildings which figure in the list of 407 old and dilapidated buildings categorized as C-1, in the city and suburbs, which need to be demolished and are beyond repairs.
These buildings include BMC owned structures like pumping stations, industrial estates, school buildings, a railway colony and 322 privately owned buildings, including chawls. According to BMC rules, a structural audit of all these buildings that are over 30 years old has to be carried out. Those buildings that are found to be in the C1 category and can’t be repaired have to be vacated.
The BMC has vacated 98 buildings, 81 are yet to be vacated and the residents of 53 buildings have moved the court challenging the BMC’s decision to demolish them. After issuing notices many residents have moved courts or appealed before the BMC’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to get the structural audit reports vetted. On many occasions, the BMC takes an undertaking from residents that they are living in dilapidated buildings at their own risk and cost,” a BMC official said.
The ward wise break up of dilapidated buildings is Ward A- 8 buildings, B-01, C-01, D-06, E-17, F South-06, F North-26, G South-10, G North-07, H East-18, H West-49, K East-34, K West-36, P South-06, P North-25, L-13, M East-02, M West-11, N-47, S-10, T-35, R South-12, R Central-19, and R North-08=407.
The maximum number of buildings in H-West
The maximum number of dilapidated buildings is in the H-West ward that covers areas like Bandra and Khar (West) which has 49 unsafe buildings. This is followed by the N Ward that covers Bhandup and other suburbs in Mumbai North East, which has 47 such buildings. The least dangerous buildings are in the H-East Ward (Bandra East, Kalina in the Mumbai North East, which has only 18 buildings, and the P-North ward (Malad and adjoining areas) in the Mumbai North, the ward that has 25 buildings marked in the C1 category.
The list of dilapidated buildings includes some of the buildings which mainly accommodate offices. They include A ward- Meher Mansion Cooperage Rd, Kalaptaru Chamber, Vashani Chamber, New Marine Lines, Nobel Chambers, Fort, B ward- Choti Bibi, Mirza Ali Street, Dongri-South Mumbai. There are also BMC pumping stations including Robert Road Pumping Station, Churchgate Pumping Station, staff quarters at Merryweather Pumping Station in South Mumbai.
Nobel chambers at Fort comprise two blocks (A and B) connected by a corridor. According to tenants, the B block, up to the fifth floor, is in perfect condition and requires cosmetic repairs like plastering. The BMC listed the building under the C1 category through a firm of structural engineers who were earlier blacklisted by the civic body itself.
Different housing societies have different problems
Different housing societies face different problems. In the case of Mani Bhavan, Chembur, North East Mumbai, the demolition of the building has been halted by a court order. Gulnar building at Hill Road in Bandra was issued a BMC notice earlier this year. Residents were asked to vacate their homes as it was in a dilapidated state. The 25-year-old ground-plus-two structure houses eight flats. While four families moved out, the other two continue to live there, citing personal reasons. The redevelopment of Krishna Bhavan, Vile Parle East, in North West Mumbai, built is held up since the landlord was hospitalized the day before signing the redevelopment deal.
Every year, ahead of monsoon, the BMC releases a list of C-1 category buildings that are unsafe for residential accommodation. “Many parts of the city have elevated land; during monsoon, if buildings are not maintained properly, they run the risk of collapsing. We need to take such harsh steps so that future loss of lives and properties could be prevented,” a BMC official said.
It may be recalled that at the beginning of the monsoon this year, there have been a couple of house crashes in and around Mumbai. 11 people were killed in a house collapse in New Collector Compound, Malad on June 09.. Similarly, one person died after three houses collapsed at Lokhandi chawl in Dahisar in North Mumbai on June 10. However, these structures were Illegal. As such, they are not part of the C-1 category list.