Housing societies must prioritise human life

Updated: Oct 31, 2019, 07:33 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

Such a precarious condition of the building called for immediate action. Dilly-dallying or brushing off reports and warnings has become par for the course for city buildings

A portion of a four-storied building collapsed in Lokmanya Tilak, Mumbai. Pic/Diwakar Sharma
A portion of a four-storied building collapsed in Lokmanya Tilak, Mumbai. Pic/Diwakar Sharma

The condition of a building in the Western suburbs, which partially collapsed last month killing a 10-year-old, was so bad that the structural audit report had recommended redevelopment in February 2018, as repairs were found to be 'highly uneconomical'.

The report, highlighted on the front page of this newspaper on October 28, said that according to a consultant's report, apart from large cracks in the internal and external plaster due to prolonged leakages and seepage through external walls and toilets, there was a lot of corrosion that had led to severe structural deterioration.

Such a precarious condition of the building called for immediate action. Dilly-dallying or brushing off reports and warnings has become par for the course for city buildings.

Many residents are unwilling to move because finding an alternative place in this city is so difficult. They stay on in difficult and dire situations because they may have nowhere else to go.

Though the report called for redevelopment, immediate structural repairs were the need of the hour. The accent should be on immediate as once a report says that a structure poses a danger to human life, we must see quick, decisive action from those in charge. This applies to every building in the city. The inhabitants too must see the wisdom in moving out temporarily or not hampering the repairs through infighting or delays in payment. Repairs can save at least a part of the structure.

Several buildings ask for consultant's reports which often gather dust. Sometimes, there are inordinate delays, many as a result of infighting and non-cooperation by building residents. A wake-up call only comes when there is some emergency or a grievous mishap. Human life is priority — all of us, every single one, should act with this in mind.

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