THE BMC is set to undertake the demolition of 23 extremely dilapidated buildings. The move comes after the civic body last week got relief from the Bombay High Court, which vacated stay orders in 23 cases, where residents had refused to vacate buildings despite them being listed in the C-1 (extremely dilapidated) category.
These 23 buildings are located in areas like Dongari, Worli, Girgaon, Parel, Bandra, Andheri, Goregaon and Mulund.
Officials from BMC’s legal department said that the court had dismissed 23 writ petitions and vacated stay orders while asking the civic body to demolish these dangerous structures. It has also been asked to file a compliance report. As per procedure, “extremely dilapidated” buildings have to be vacated and demolished immediately.
“We have sent the list of 23 buildings to the concerned ward offices for action as per court directions. There are about 170 such C-1 category dilapidated buildings under litigation. The court has also asked us to submit a list of all sub-judice matters. We have asked officers of all 24 wards to submit reports in this regard,” a department official said.
New rules to tackle collapse incidents
With several incidents of building collapse being reported in the last few years, BMC has come up with rules to deal with such situations. According to the civic body, if a building is more than 30 years old, it will have to undergo a structural audit. Moreover, the housing society is supposed to appoint a structural auditor and based on its report, the property can be divided into three categories — demolition and reconstruction, major repair and minor repairs. The first category is known as C-1, which requires immediate evacuation and demolition.
The letter from the legal department was sent to concerned officials on July 24. “The court order has come as a great relief as in case of collapse, people start blaming the civic body for negligence,” the official said.
In July, a part of the Kesarbai Mansion in Dongri had collapsed, killing 13 people. It was later revealed that the building was earlier declared dilapidated by the BMC. However, people were still occupying the structure because of disputes between tenants and landlords.
Kurla-based activist Shakeel Shaikh said, “This is a welcome move, as often we have seen that disputes between residents and authorities result in a collapse, and people are killed. Several such cases are pending, which also should be disposed.”
A survey conducted for the year 2019-20 has put the number of C-1 category buildings at 499 in the city. Of these, 416 buildings are private and 54 have been vacated. The civic body has disconnected water and power supply of several buildings where residents had refused to vacate the dangerous structures.