The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will send prosecution notices to six dilapidated buildings located along the Metro line in Cuffe Parade and Hutatma Chowk under section 353B of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act. The buildings, officials said, had failed to undertake a structural audit despite prior notice.
A recent Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) survey on condition of buildings in areas where Metro construction work is underway had found that at least nine buildings in Cuffe Parade and Hutatma Chowk (or Flora Fountain) areas were in ‘severe’ to ‘very severe’ dilapidated state.
As per the MMC Act, every building has to get a structural audit done after 30 years of construction. If the BMC feels that a building is in dangerous condition, it can also ask for a structural audit at any time under section 353B of the Act. If the owner/occupier fails to do so, the civic body can prosecute the owner/occupier under the said section of the Act. The structural stability certificate has to be submitted within 30 days.
Following the MMRC survey, the civic body in December had served notices to these buildings under section 353B of the MMC Act and sought their structural audit report. “While three out of nine buildings — Kitab Mahal and two others under Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) — submitted the reports and began repair works, the remaining buildings failed to do so. The BMC will be sending prosecution notices to them,” Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, said.
It is mandatory for building to undertake repair works as suggested by a structural engineer and submit the completion certificate along with structural safety certificate to the BMC. The MMRC is currently undertaking tunnelling work for the 33.5-km long underground Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ corridor. As part of its pre-construction building condition survey, the MMRC had studied the structures that fall within the potential zone of influence of the construction.
The MMRC has faced stiff opposition to tunnelling work in the area fearing that it may damage older buildings. Local residents have demanded that alignment of the 33.5-km long Metro corridor be altered. The MMRC is expecting to complete 80 per cent of the tunnelling work by December 2019. The line will be commissioned in two phases, with first phase partly operational from 2021. Once operational, this Metro corridor will provide crucial north-south rail connectivity and is expected to supplement the overburdened suburban rail network. It will link key business districts MIDC, SEEPZ, BKC in suburbs to Nariman Point in island city.