Residents of dilapidated buildings will not become homeless, promises BMC

Jul 14, 2014, 08:27 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

In order to hasten the evacuation process of dilapidated buildings, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is now providing a legal document to residents, assuring them that they’ll get new houses

The city has witnessed several building collapses due to heavy rains this year too After the dilapidated building of a municipal school in Santacruz (East) partially collapsed on Friday, while the demolition process was going on, other structures have also caved-in under incessant rains.

Heavy rains on Saturday led to three incidents of building and wall collapse in the city. Pic/PTI
Heavy rains on Saturday led to three incidents of building and wall collapse in the city. Pic/PTI

However, the biggest dilemma for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been that residents of dilapidated buildings refuse to vacate their homes, as they fear they won’t get have a roof over their heads. As a solution, the civic body has decided to provide a legal document to residents, that mentions the property details, assuring that once the building is redeveloped they will get new houses.

After the Dockyard building collapse in 2013, the BMC decided to carry out the demolition of dilapidated buildings. They conducted surveys of all BMC-owned properties that were built before 1980. The consultants declared that around 200 buildings in the city have to be demolished. However, most residents of these buildings fear that they won’t get homes from the developers.

To resolve this problem, additional municipal commissioner, Sanjay Deshmukh, came up with the solution to provide legal documents to every tenant. While the BMC is taking similar precautions for private buildings as well, the residents are still refusing to vacate their homes, despite the agreements and legal assurance.

However, as per the High Court ruling passed last week, the police now have authority to remove people from dilapidated structures, which the civic body hopes will help them reduce fatal collapses. A senior civic official, on request of anonymity, said, “We are trying various methods, and now that the police have been given the authority, we hope we’ll be able to evacuate people faster. We are now appointing contractors for redevelopment.”

BMC speak
“We’ve had issues where residents fear losing their homes. We have come up with various options, one of them is providing them a guarantee in writing that their house will be returned to them. We hope this works out,” said Sanjay Deshmukh, additional municipal commissioner.

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