Mumbai: BMC goes easy on redeveloping own buildings

While constructions mushroom around Mumbai with various permissions from BMC, it does not seem to be bothered about redeveloping its own buildings, to the disappointment of its staff and their families

Whenever the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to demolish a building found to be dangerous, usually there is strong opposition from the residents, leading to a delay. Residents are scared of losing their homes, where they have been staying for years and fear they will never be able to go back. But the delay in development of some buildings the BMC owns, is proving to be a real worry for their staff.

While the BMC grants various permissions to new constructions and reconstructions by builders, the development of many buildings it owns is happening at a snail’s pace or has not started. mid-day takes a look at some buildings belonging to BMC, which were to be constructed, or pulled down and redeveloped at the earliest, and one that collapsed and was to be reconstructed.

Transit camp, in transit
Transit Camp, Gautam Nagar:
The BMC had floated tenders for the construction of a transit camp last year in Gautam Nagar at Dadar East, where occupants of (Solid Waste Management) SWM staff quarters from nearby were to be shifted, after two buildings were demolished. Meanwhile, the residents were shifted to PAP sites at Mahul.

Transit Camp, Gautam Nagar
Construction of a transit camp at Gautam Nagar, Dadar is going at a slow pace. Pic/pradeep Dhivar

The BMC had then promised to get them to stay in the transit camp after its construction was completed in three months. A resident of dilapidated building no 1, Rajesh Makwana said, “The work on the transit camp is moving very slowly. The BMC had promised to shift us in three months, we have been waiting for a year for their three months to be completed.” Siraj Ansari, chief engineer, SWM Department remained unavailable for comment on the transit camp.

Building dangerous, top floors to go
Chhatrapati Shivaji Market:
After the Dockyard building collapse, the BMC had taken a serious view of Shivaji Market near CST, claiming it was dangerous and saying that it must be pulled down immediately.

The BMC has not been able to shift the fish wholesalers and exporters at Chhatrapati Shivaji Market, but it will go ahead with the demolition of the top floors.
The BMC has not been able to shift the fish wholesalers and exporters at Chhatrapati Shivaji Market, but it will go ahead with the demolition of the top floors.

The BMC and government offices from the first to the fourth floors were vacated then. But even after a year, the BMC has not been able to shift the fish wholesalers and exporters who work in the ground and mezzanine floors to an alternative accommodation. Now it plans to go ahead with the demolition of the top four floors and has moved tenders for it. The fish wholesalers will be allowed to work after BMC gives them a cover of tin or tarpaulin sheets.

One of the fish wholesalers, Ayaz S, said, “We are still working from the building as we clearly said that unless alternative accommodation was given in the surrounding area, we won’t move. Now they are demolishing the structure above us and giving us a temporary cover.”

Collapse survivors wait for reconstruction
Dockyard Road building:
When mid-day visited the Babu Genu Market or Dockyard Road building site after one year and two months since its collapse, there was still no sign of its reconstruction.

Even one year and two months after the Dockyard Road building collapsed, there is no sign of its reconstruction.
Even one year and two months after the Dockyard Road building collapsed, there is no sign of its reconstruction.

A survivor, Tushar Pawar said the civic body temporarily shifted them to MHADA buildings at Byculla and Ghatkopar, but the house agreement is almost over. Pawar said, “Now the BMC is planning to shift us to another place. Unless we get a permanent place this problem will go on. This will also lead to problems of producing address documents for us.” The civic body’s apathy led to the five-storey Dockyard Road building’s collapse in 2013, killing 61 people and injuring many. The collapse took place due to alteration on the ground floor and the enquiry report by the administration is yet to be disclosed.

A year after demolition, no reconstruction
Wadala 88 tenements:
Estate Department workers were allotted houses in three buildings at 88 tenements at Wadala. Out of the three buildings (A, B and C), the four-storey C wing was demolished last year when it was declared dilapidated and unfit for habitation. Some residents were sent to municipal quarters in Raoli Camp and Worli.

Wadala 88 tenements
Of three buildings (A, B and C) in 88 tenements at Wadala where Estate Department workers stayed, the C building was demolished a year ago but there is no sign of its reconstruction.

“We were promised we will get homes here but after one year there is no progress. The corporation has not even started the reconstruction. We heard that because the Monorail line may come up near the building, reconstruction is delayed,” said Prakash Jadhav, a resident of C wing.

BMC Speak
Ramesh Pawar,

Assistant Commissioner (Market)
Tenders for the demolition of the upper floors of Shivaji Market have been floated, and the floors above the fish market will be demolished, after which further development will start. The development of the Dockyard building is with the Planning and Design department, you should ask them about it. As the market next to it was also in a dilapidated condition, tenders for its demolition are also being floated, but the ground floor will be retained.

Vishwas Shankarwar,
Assistant Commissioner (Estate)
While C building has been demolished at Wadala, the shop owners at A and B have gone to court. So these two wings are partially vacated but not demolished.

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