Is your building about to collapse?
By: Sheena Thomas
There is no dearth of old, dilapidated buildings in Mumbai. Forget about living in them, you should not even be standing in their shadow. The recent collapse of an ancient building in Zaveri Bazar, South Mumbai, has set in fears of the fate of these old structures. |
Fortunately, the BMC had alerted the residents well in advance and the building had been evacuated. However, there are many more buildings under threat in the city and in spite of repeated warnings from the BMC, the residents refuse to evict their property. We suggest you don't wait for any further warnings from authorities; immediately plan to evict when you see any of these signs:
1 "Always be on the lookout for cracks," suggests architect Milind Pai. "When the building is about to give way, you'll be able to notice very long cracks on the exterior of the building, says Pai. That's a clear indicator that the building is in bad shape.
2 Sometimes you might also be able to feel vibrations, warns Pai. If the plaster of your walls starts falling when residents living in flats above yours are moving their belongings, you are certainly in for trouble. "The plaster will only fall when the building isn't strong enough to withstand the vibrations," cautions architect Nikhil Khadilkar.
3 If your building is tilting towards a certain direction, it can collapse any minute. Run for your life.
4 "Make sure that the steel bars are not visible in your building," cautions Khadilkar. "They will only be visible when the concrete has given way."
5 When the BMC starts issuing repeated warnings, all is not well. They won't bother unless your building has really gone to the dogs. We suggest you don't add to the figure of recent building collapses, and evict the building pronto. Take the BMC warnings seriously, they spell your impending doom.
June 30: A portion of the library ceiling collapses at the Mumbai University. No casualties
Aug 13: Rangoli, a 70-year-old, building collapses in Bhendi Bazar. 20 dead, 15 injured
Aug 13: The balcony of Antonio D'silva School in Byculla comes crashing down. 24 injured
Nov 8: A 50-year-old building collapses in Crawford Market. 2 dead, 6 injured