Strange but true. The number of shaky buildings in the city that require immediate evacuation has come down this year! At least that's what inspection of dangerous structures by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) shows. And surprisingly, the decline in number of structures that need to be vacated plunged even as the overall number of rickety structures saw a 29% rise this season (from 959 in 2013 to 1,236 this year).
How are dangerous buildings categorised?
They fall mainly into three categories: C1, C2 and C3.
C1: The building needs to be vacated immediately.
C2A: This has certain dangerous portions that have to be demolished.
C2B: Major structural repairs have to be carried out in this building.
Note: Buildings in both C2A and C2B categories need not be vacated.
How many building in C1?
Last year there were 593 buildings in C1. This year, the number has dropped to 543 (nearly 9% less). In the C1 list are 379 private buildings, 108 municipal structures, 44 govt buildings, 7 railway construction and 1 in cessed category. Four structures have been listed under others category.
Why the drop in numbers?
BMC attributes it to tighter vigil and methods adopted by its ward offices this season after major building collapses last year.
How many buildings collapsed last year?
How many people died?
Any known buildings in rickety list?
Yes. Structures like Shakti Mills along E Moses Road and Campa Cola factory on BG Kher Marg in Worli figure in C1 list.
Any guidelines for inspections?
There are. As per them, inspection of a building should be carried out in two layers. In the preliminary round, civic staff will do a visual survey: Condition of structures like columns/beams, walls, slabs, floors, staircases, lifts, etc (in a building) will be tested using instruments like hammer, etc. In the second round, experts will carry out sample
testing: Once the visual inspection suggests a building requires repairs/demolition, experts will procure samples of the material and test them to ascertain their strength.
Is there a format to be followed?
Yes. The ward offices have been given a format to be followed based on the guidelines. This has resulted in a proper study being undertaken and averted arbitrary inclusion of any building in the C1 category," Laxman Vhatkar, director, BMC engineering services and projects dept, said. He also heads the technical committee.
After the spate of building collapses last year, the corporation had decided to carry out stricter inspections at ward-level. A grievance redressal committee has also been formed to hear disputes on inclusion of a structure in the dilapidated structures' list for residents' convenience. We have also appointed a panel of structural engineers whom people can approach to carry out second audit in case they have doubt about the first report. All these measures have allayed doubts. – Laxman Vhatkar,
No. of C1 category structures identified last year: 593.
No. C1 category structures identified this year: 543.
Most vulnerable ward: L ward (Kurla) with 100 buildings.
Least vulnerable: C ward (Chandanwadi) with 1 structure.