The collapse of a building in Ghatkopar, Mumbai, prompted the administrative bodies in the city to start identifying the dilapidated buildings in their jurisdictions. A quick survey by the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) revealed that there were 73 ‘dilapidated and unsafe’ structures in their area. The exercise to identify ‘potentially dangerous’ buildings is carried out every monsoon and notices are sent under Section 297 of the Cantonment Act, 2006.
Talking to The Indian Express, PCB CEO Dr D N Yadav said, “Recently, we had issued eviction notices to the residents who were still staying at six such unsafe structures.” He added, “There are approximately 3,000 properties in the PCB area. While ward wise surveys are undertaken, the authorities are also intimated by locals about such crumbling structures. Time and again notices have been issued but occupants refuse to vacate the structures in several cases, following which cases are filed in the court.”
Engineering department officials said, “We served notices to unsafe properties at 1138, 1139 Saifee Lane, 770 Taboot Street, 1192 Shimpi Ali, 1936 Dwayer Lane and others at Kedari Road.”
Senior officials added that due to legal disputes over repairs between the tenant and leaseholder, the dilapidated buildings continue to pose a risk not only to the people staying there but also to the neighbouring buildings.
According to the PCB survey, a majority of unsafe structures are at wards 1, 2 and 3.
Ward 1 comprises part of Boottee Street, Dastur Meher Road and a part of Sachapir Street, while Ward 2 includes areas such as J J Garden, old Modikhana, Taboot Street and Meher Mohalla. Ward 3 includes areas such as Bhimpura Lane, Centre Street , V P Street and a part of Shimpi Ali.
Elected members said a majority of cases pertain to those where landlords do not permit the tenants to carry out repairs. The tenants, also, do not want to give up their tenancy rights and continue to live dangerously. Engineering department officials said, “The board also cannot allow the repair work unless the owner gives an NOC to the tenant.”