A city special cell to monitor old structures in Mumbai

BMC has formulated a policy for maintenance of senile buildings in the city

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Over the years, the number of old buildings in Mumbai has been on an increase. According to a recent survey, around 600 old buildings here are in dilapidated condition and yet to be vacated by their residents. Most of these aged structures are in Byculla, Girgaum, Sewri, Parel, Mumbai Central, Nagpada, Bhendi Bazaar, Mohammed Ali Road and Crawford Market and have been declared dangerous for occupation. Often, the residents prefer to risk their lives and continue to stay in these buildings even after receiving a notice.

The BMC has undertaken an initiative to correct this problem by giving rise to a new cell that will look after the dilapidated structures in the city and standardise their structural audits. Old buildings will be focused upon by this cell and it will issue any necessary actions for their safety.

Any buildings that have exceeded 30 years of existence will be picked up by this cell. Notices to these societies will be issued. The cell will have an online record of all such buildings and will automatically alert the officials about notices to be sent to carry out the demolition work using the best possible technology, without harming nearby structures.

Civic chief, in an interview with Hindustan Times, said that the new cell will also initiate necessary action against the societies. Pending cases of dilapidated structures will be expedited. He told that suggestions and objections from citizens have also been invited and the policy of dilapidated structures that has been uploaded to the BMC website. 

According to a senior civic official, there are approximately more than 30,000 buildings in the city older than 30 years. He said that any illegal alterations in these buildings will be monitored closely by this cell. Societies will be required to procure a Non-Objection certificate from the cell before carrying out alterations. Also, the officials at the ward level will conduct regular surveys to determine the safety of these structures.

The Siddhi Sai collapse at Ghatkopar should be credited for this move. It had killed 17 residents in July this year. A three-member committee formed by BMC offered 18 recommendations, among which was, setting up this cell.

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