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BMC has no time for Gautam Nagar

The Campa Cola compound issue seems to have given respite to other structures under dispute as well. Take, for instance, Building No 1 in Gautam Nagar, Dadar. After the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued an evacuation notice on October 4, residents had refused to move out, stating that their building was not in a bad condition as claimed by the civic body.


Back home: Building No 1 at Gautam Nagar in Dadar. Pic/Shadab Khan

All residents are workers of BMC’s own Solid Waste Management department, who were suspended after they refused to vacate their homes. They then got a structural audit of the building done from a private auditor, paying a total of Rs 1.5 lakh for the same. The report had shown to be positive, but residents are still awaiting a certificate from a BMC-approved private consultant. 

According to the rules, every test report has to be certified by a BMC approved structural consultant. After the building was vacated on October 11, the inhabitants had originally gotten 10 days to submit the certified structural audit report, but still haven’t done so.

And authorities too haven’t bothered to ask for the document, or to keep a check on the goings-on at the site. Residents started staying in the building from October 26 and had even sent a letter to the BMC stating the same (‘Residents return to Gautam Nagar, say building is not dilapidated’, October 30).

No action
But there has been no response or action taken on the issue on part of the civic body, even though it is illegal to go back to living in a building declared to be dangerous under C1 category by the BMC. Ashish Shah (name changed), who stays at Building No 1 and is a suspended employee of SWM department, said, “It is true that we have got more time because Campa Cola diverted the attention of BMC. Now we are praying that our certificate comes soon, so that we can produce it to BMC and stay in our house legally.” 

Samir Mehta (name changed), another resident and SWM employee, said, “The consultant suddenly asked us to submit the report of the hammer testing that our structural auditor did two days ago. Because of Campa Cola, we have gotten more time. We will submit our certified audit report within a week.”  Families have also approached Standing Committee chairman Rahul Shewale to push for their cause. “Residents will submit the certified structural audit report soon and are ready to stay on leave and licence basis temporarily, until the building gets repaired. They claim that the building is reparable. Their evacuation got delayed, as all other officers were busy with Campa Cola issue,” he said. 

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