MUMBAI: Lives of lakhs of Mumbaikars, who are living in more than 14000 old and dilapidated buildings which are more than 30 years old in Mumbai and suburbs, are in danger. These Mumbaikars are forced to live in such inhabitable and shaky buildings at the mercy of nature definitely, as repair, reconstruction and redevelopment plans for the last few decades have been proved a failure.
Governments have changed multiple times, politicians and political parties made promises to protect the lives and properties of Mumbaikars living in old and dilapidated old tenanted buildings in the island city and suburbs. However these have appeared as hollow promises.
As monsoon have arrived in the city, Mumbaikars pray for the safety of lakhs of tenants living in the old buildings, as during monsoons old and dilapidated buildings are more prone to collapse.
A brief account of old and dilapidated buildings in the city and suburbs and the prevailing situation, is as follows:
A structural audit has been made compulsory in the city for all building, which are older than 30 years.
The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Mumbai’s prime governing body, declared in April 2017, in a pre-monsoon survey, that there are 791 old buildings which are dangerous to live. There are around 570 old, dilapidated buildings in South Mumbai which have been declared as most dangerous buildings, and have been included in category C 1.
At least three lakh families are staying in these dangerous and dilapidated buildings in Mumbai and suburbs.
The BMC has categorized all old buildings into 3 categories, namely C 1: most dangerous category, C2: Old Buildings which require major structural repairs, C3: Old Buildings which need minor repairs. There is hundreds of old building which are nearly 100 years old. Repair, reconstruction or redevelopment of these old and dilapidated buildings is very complex problem which is not being solved though promised by subsequent governments.
Only Cessed and Tenanted old buildings have protection of any scheme for Repair or Reconstruction. However thousands of non – cessed tenanted old buildings do not have any protection from any government scheme either from MHADA Act or DC Rule.
Since the law does not provide any protection to the Non-Cessed old buildings, lakhs of poor and middle class families living in such buildings remain at the mercy of land lords and greedy builders.
There is also a racket been run in Mumbai, where corrupt officials in collusion with greedy builders, issue notices under section 354 of BMC Act, to evict non agreeing tenants.
The law is being misused in the city and suburbs .Thus, poor tenants are forcibly evicted and buildings demolished, not for the sake of tenants but for the benefit of greedy builders.
In such ways, Government Schemes which have been formulated for the welfare of tenants, are being issued for the profits of Greedy Builders and Corrupt Officials.