What's the point of home if it's not safe?

Sep 09, 2017, 07:58 IST | midday correspondent

These are dark days for Mumbai as several building collapses have taken place recently. Now, a fire at an under-construction in building has brought forward heart-wrenching reports from survivors in hospitals and the kin of those who have perished. It has thrown the spotlight on the absolute necessity of developers following all stringent security procedures.

Labourers in under-construction projects housed in matchbox-style rooms, overcrowding at the site and using gas cylinders – all left very narrow chances of escape. It is buildings that dominate conversation today, as these structures leave residents teetering on the brink of death and disaster, like a tilting building in Ghatkopar that residents were refusing to evacuate. This paper also ran a report about a South Mumbai building which has got at least three notices from MHADA because of its dilapidated state. The trustees of the building and tenants are locked in battle because the former says that they must go in for repairs. The latter, though, want to opt for redevelopment. Time is slipping away in this deadlock and there is a real danger of some untoward incident, as the building is more than 100 years old and is only getting weaker. The authorities need to step in firmly and quickly. Simply calling tenants and trustees for meetings is not going to suffice. Time is of the essence and we have seen over and over again that it is such delays that have resulted in tragedies in the past.

Whether it is deadlocks, miscommunications, taking warnings and notices too casually, it is high time the impasse is broken and a solution is found. So it is with other buildings across the city; there has to be unity and single mindedness of purpose. The dilly-dallying and court cases too are not just a waste of time but can also prove fatal in the long-run.

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