BMC's new policy: Visual inspection enough to declare building dilapidated in Mumbai

May 18, 2018, 07:09 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

A visual inspection is all zonal DMCs will soon need to declare a building as dilapidated, as part of BMC's proposed new policy; however, this will only be applicable in emergency cases

Ahead of monsoon, along with the new policy, BMC will be declaring 619 buildings as dilapidated. Representational Picture
Ahead of monsoon, along with the new policy, BMC will be declaring 619 buildings as dilapidated. Representational Picture

Soon, only the eyes will suffice in declaring a building dilapidated. As part of a new policy the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is working on, zonal deputy municipal commissioners (DMC) can declare a building dilapidated with just a visual inspection, and without having to follow the technical process of a structural audit. However, this will only be applicable in emergency cases.

Ahead of monsoon, along with the new policy, BMC will be declaring 619 buildings as dilapidated. What has come as a relief to the corporation is the reduction in the number of dilapidated buildings in the city from last year's 791.

In emergencies only
Nidhi Choudhari, deputy municipal commissioner, said, "Many buildings were demolished last year after being declared dangerous for habitation. Thus, the number of the buildings to be declared dilapidated has come down. Even out of 619 structures, 71 will be demolished soon, as they all are vacant. And now, we are also coming up with a policy in which the zonal DMC can declare a structure dilapidated in emergency cases."

While many residents have been complaining about officers declaring their buildings dilapidated only to help developers, BMC has gone ahead and given powers to DMCs to take a call just by visual inspections. Officials said that this will be done only in cases where a part of the building is in a deteriorated condition and the assistant municipal commissioner visiting the spot suggests the structure be declared dangerous.

A civic official said, "The assistant municipal commissioners explained the new policy and how a building, which is not even 30 years old, can be found weak and dangerous for residents just through visual inspection and proposed as a dilapidated building. The DMC will have to verify and approve it."

Numbers down
Currently, the ward-wise survey has suggested 619 buildings are dangerously dilapidated and need to be immediately vacated. Out of them, tenders for demolition of 71 vacant buildings are being floated, whereas cases for 41 are pending in front of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), while the court has granted a stay on demolition in 174 cases. Civic officials said the number of dilapidated buildings will go down further.

As for the new policy, it will also see an increase in the number of TACs, currently there is only one. The number of TACs for private buildings has been increased to four while government buildings will have 16 TACs for faster results. TACs give a final decision on whether or not a building needs to be pulled down, in cases of dispute. The number of objection days for the structural audit report have been increased to 45 days from the current 30.

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