Civic chief gets cracking on dangerous buildings

Tuesday, 29 April 2014 - 8:50am IST | Agency: DNA
Leads inspection of structures at 18 places on Monday

Shaken by the four building collapses in the city within four months, the civic body has decided to begin inspections of buildings ahead of the monsoon in right earnest.

On Monday, municipal commisioner Sitaram Kunte personally visited some dilapidated buildings – both government and private – to see the condition of the structures and talk to the residents about shifting to a safer place.

This initiative is significant in the context of the fact that hundreds of residents living in weak structures are hesitant to move out.

More than 80 people were killed in the recent building collapses, which sparked off allegations of negligence by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

"I am visiting various places with the officers concerned to assess the situation. Today, I visited some dangerous structures in the island city. I will be visiting the western and eastern suburbs in the next two days," Kunte said. "We are talking to people on the issue and appealing to them to respond to our concerns. If they refuse to move we will have to check out the legal options open to us."

Among the sites Kunte visited was Siddharth hostel, which is attached to Dr BR Ambedkar College in Wadala. The three-storey building was listed in the 'C1' category of buildings that are dilapidated and must be demolished in 2011.

The BMC has listed a total 391 buildings as dangerous structures, of which 156 are in the island city, 137 in the eastern suburbs and 98 in the western suburbs.

A civic official explained that the BMC would take the responsibility of accommodating residents of its buildings. But in the case of private structures that are in a dangerous condition, the onus of looking for alternative accommodation lay with the occupants.

The official said they would consider cutting water and power supply even to its buildings if occupants refuse to vacate.

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Civic chief's stops

On Monday, municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte visited 18 places in 'A' ward (Fort, Marine Lines), 'B' ward (Dongri, Mavaji Rathod road in Umerkhadi), 'C' ward (Chandanwadi), 'D' ward (Mahalaxmi, Mumbai Central), 'E' ward (BIT chawl, Byculla), 'F/South' (Lalbaug, Parel), 'F/North' (Wadala), 'G/South' (Prabhadevi, Worli naka) and 'G/North' (Dadar).

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Siddharth hostel matter in court

Siddharth hostel, attached to Dr BR Ambedkar College in Wadala has also been home to leading activists of the Dalit movement. The building was listed in the 'C1' category of dilapidated buildings that must be demolished on June 23, 2011. But the People's Education Society, which runs the institution did not cooperate and the matter is now before the Shindewadi court. The college management was cautious not to comment on the issue, saying it was before the court.

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Four building collapses in ten months

June 10, 2013
Five-storey Aftab Manzil, Mahim. 10 people dead.

June 22, 2013
Piyush Co-operative Housing Society, a ground-plus-four-storey structure, in Dahisar. 7 people killed.

September 27, 2013
Babu Genu market building, four-storey building owned by the BMC, in Dockyard. 61 people dead.

March 14, 2014
Seven-storey Shankarlok Apartments. 7 killed.

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Monsoon check

Ahead of the monsoon every year, the BMC prepares a list of dangerous buildings. Not all the buildings must be vacated.

The buildings are listed in 'C1', 'C2A' and 'C2B' categories.

'C1' is for buildings that are in a dangerous condition and require to be demolished.

The 'C2A' category is for buildings only a part of which require to be demolished.

Buildings in 'C2B' category require major structural repairs.

 


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