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Bombay high court order brings respite to tenants of shaky buildings

Monday, 25 August 2014 - 5:28am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

In what will build confidence among tenants/occupants of shaky buildings who refuse to leave their homes due to fear of losing them permanently, the Bombay high court has ordered Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to take necessary steps to allay the apprehension.

The high court in a recent order asked the civic body not to issue commence certificate (CC) for redevelopment of the dilapidated structures in the absence of an agreement between landlords and tenants over providing permanent alternative accommodation to the latter.

The court gave the order as part of guidelines in connection with buildings which fall under C1 category (ones which need to be evacuated immediately in view of demolition) structures — both private and BMC-owned.

The order also applies to structures which have been served notice under section 354 of Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act, 1888. The guideline was issued after the BMC approached the high court seeking directives in view of the difficulties faced by
it in implementation of notices served under the aforesaid section, given the absence
of specific provisions in the MMC Act for eviction of occupants from the dilapidated buildings.

According to the order, in case privately-owned dangerous buildings are demolished by the corporation in exercise of power under section 354 (read with the order passed), then the BMC shall, while granting sanction of redevelopment, impose a condition in intimation of disapproval (IOD) that no CC will be issued under section 45 of the MRTP Act, 1966 unless and until there is an agreement, either providing a permanent alternative accommodation in a newly-constructed building or a settlement is arrived at by and between the tenants/occupants and the landlord in respect of the said demolished premises is filed with the corporation.

"This guideline will help bring in transparency in the process of redevelopment of shaky structures. The court has also asked BMC to prepare a list of dangerous buildings and also measure the carpet area of their houses. This will help stop cheating of residents/occupants once the project is redeveloped," a senior civic official said.

As reported in dna earlier, the civic body has identified 543 C1 category structures in Mumbai ahead of the monsoon. The 'L' ward, which covers suburbs like Kurla, has the highest number of shaky structures, that is, 100. Some rickety buildings in the city include some of the known structures like Shakti Mills along E Moses Road and Campa Cola factory on BG Kher Marg in Worli.

The issue of rickety structures is of major concern to the BMC as 84 persons lost their lives in four major building crash incidents over the past one year.

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