Residents return to Gautam Nagar, say building is not dilapidated
The lives of people who stay in Building No 1 in Gautam Nagar,Dadar have taken yet another turn. After Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials had the building vacated on October 11 because it was in a dilapidated condition, residents had gotten a private structural audit done from a BMC-approved auditor.
They believed that the building was not in as bad a condition as the BMC made it out to be and had collected Rs 2,000 from each family to fund the audit. According to the report that arrived on October 19, residents claim that the building is not in a dilapidated condition. The structure housed employees of the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department of the BMC.
One of the residents of the building and also an employee of SWM, said, “Our structural audit report from a BMC-approved private organisation has shown up to be positive. The building just needs heavy repairs and is not dilapidated. After the work is done, the report says that we can live for 10-15 years more in it.”
Residents have already moved back into the building and have been living in it since October 26. They were served an evacuation notice on October 4, following which they were given ten more days to wait for the audit report.
Sunil More, the corporator for the area, said the report had already been submitted to the BMC. “The letter has been given to the BMC, and residents are waiting for the certificate from the auditor. They are already staying in their own homes, and after the certificate is handed over to the authorities, proving that the building is not in a dangerous condition, we will make sure people keep living in the same flats.”
Meanwhile, officials continue to assert that no one could go back to their homes. Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner (City), said, “No such report has reached me. The building is a BMC property, and these employees are not allowed to conduct a structural audit by a private consultant. They will have to vacate the building, as it falls under the C1 category, which is dangerous.”