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BMC has already issued 14,000 notices to buildings across Mumbai: additional municipal commissioner

Sunday, 16 March 2014 - 5:30am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

A day after a ground-plus-seven-storey building came down in Vakola, Santa Cruz (East), defending the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh said the civic body has so far issued about 14,000 notices to buildings — dilapidated and dangerous structures, structures which require repair as well as those which have to go for compulsory structural audits.

According to him, most residents are yet to act on the notices.

"People are often reluctant to vacate their buildings, even if the structure is in a dilapidated condition. Some have even moved court, delaying the process," he told dna.

"We are exploring the legal possibility of filing an FIR against Sindha Shreedharan, the lawyer (who stayed on the ground floor of the Vakola building and who was issued a notice to vacate the flat, which she challenged in court and got a stay order)," he added.

Deshmukh admitted that the problem is difficult to tackle. "In some dilapidated BMC buildings, the civic body had also offered alternative accommodation to the tenants, but they refused to move, saying it will be far from their workplaces," he said.

Another official said several such buildings in the city have a stay order on them and because of that the civic body can't do anything to the structures.

Friday's collapse claimed seven lives and left four injured who are now recuperating at VN Desai hospital.

While a transit camp has been arranged for the survivors at a hall in the Vakola municipal market by the H-east ward office, suburban collector Shekhar Channe said they are carrying out an inquiry on the prospect of providing alternative accommodation to them.

"Since it wasn't a natural calamity, we are still carrying out inquiries on the exact number of people, the legal heirs and their demands. Based on the final report, we will send a proposal to the chief minister in the next couple of days for a decision on the matter," Channe said.

Residents of the chawl are undecided on the next course of action. "We are just trying to arrange a proper accommodation for the women and children. We will decide on the next course of action after that," said Bharat Khandare, a resident.

The chawl housed 22 families. As many as 200 dumpers were on the spot to remove the remaining debris. Officials from the disaster control room said the debris will be cleared within a day.

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