The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has proposed to forcibly vacate privately-owned highly dilapidated and dangerous buildings (C-1 category) seven days after serving a second eviction notice under section 354 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act. It may use minimum police force, if required.
In a petition filed before the Bombay High Court, the BMC had sought directions in relation to eviction and evacuation of unwilling residents from such structures across Mumbai.
The BMC had told the HC there was urgency as they were facing problems during eviction and demolition of ‘C-1’ structures. In its May 8 order, the court directed the BMC and police to work in tandem and take joint action in accordance with law. The next hearing is scheduled for June.
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According to the draft guidelines, in the case of privately-owned buildings, the corporation will carry out its own independent inspection of all ‘C-1’ buildings. If the structure is found to be extremely dangerous and dilapidated, the BMC proposes to list the names of all tenants and/or occupiers in the building along with the carpet area and floor-level of their respective homes within the structure. A copy of this list will be furnished to the landlord or owner of the building.
For municipal-owned C-1 category buildings, the BMC will issue a “letter of evacuation” to all occupants. The notice would contain the name of the occupant, the area of his flat and the floor at which it is located. “If such tenant and/or occupier is not available, the BMC will affix the notice on any part of the occupant’s premises which will be deemed sufficient intimation for the occupier and the building part thereof,” the guidelines say. “In the event a person occupying such a tenement, whether private or corporation-owned, refuses to vacate the premises, police shall remove them from the premises using minimum force,” it adds.
BMC data released in March reveals that only 169 of 593 ‘C-1’ category structures (private, municipal and state government-owned) have been vacated.
A fortnight ago, Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte visited 41 of these occupied structures across the island city, eastern and western suburbs appealing to residents to vacate the dangerous buildings. “These numbers on C-1 category structures keep changing as more structural audits are being carried out,” said additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani, who is currently holding additional charge of the issue.
After evacuation, residents of such buildings will be given due accommodation in a newly constructed building.
For their rehabilitation in the interim period, as per current practice, the BMC will provide alternate accommodation for residents of municipal-owned buildings. For privately-owned cessed structures, MHADA will offer temporary residence in its transit camps.