Two days too late: MHADA starts re-audit, BMC issues fresh notices to risky buildings

Two days too late: MHADA starts re-audit, BMC issues fresh notices to risky buildings
Both MHADA and BMC shunned responsibility for the tragic Dongri building collapse, but have swung into action now amid strong criticism and potential threat to other risky structures (Representational Image, Courtesy: Justdial)

Two days after the tragic collapse of a residential building in Dongri, MHADA has started re-auditing cessed structures and BMC has issued fresh notices to buildings to prove their structural stability.

Both bodies were under fire after the collapse of Kesarbhai building on Tuesday, which resulted in the death of 14 persons and left nine injured. However, both shunned responsibility for the mishap.

While the civic body maintained that it had classified the building as dangerous during an audit in 2017 and served notices to that effect to both residents and MHADA, the latter has said that it too issued evacuation notices to occupants.

Amid strong criticism and a potential threat to other structures under their jurisdiction, both have started taking preventative action.

MHADA Action

MHADA’s records showed that the collapsed Kesarbhai building was a cessed property that had been evacuated in 2018. However, it was fully occupied when the structure collapsed earlier this week.

To ensure no other building suffers a similar fate, it has ordered officials to re-audit all dangerous buildings in the city, including the 23 it listed this year.

Officials have been tasked with making sure that no one is residing in the buildings that were supposed to be evacuated and the ones in dire need of repairs have been tended to.

According to reports, MHADA’s Mumbai Repair & Reconstruction Board is responsible for over 14,000 cessed buildings in the city, of which over 8,000 are in need of repairs and 3,000 are in dilapidated condition.

BMC Action

Back in 2017, the civic body had classified the Kesarbhai building in the “C1 category”, implying that it was meant to be evacuated for demolition at the earliest. However, there was no check to ascertain if the building was actually evacuated.

As a preventative measure, it has now started issuing notices to residents of older buildings, especially in South Mumbai where such structures are more common, asking them to submit the structural stability certificate for their building within 30 days.

“As per the provision of the section 353-B of MMC Act, 1888, it is mandatory for the owner/occupier to appoint the licensed structural consultant/engineer registered with MCGM and to carry out the structural audit of the above building and submit a structural stability certificate, certifying that building is structurally fit for human habitation within a period of 30 days from the date of the receipt of the notice to the assistant commissioner (B) ward,” reads the notice put up in one of the buildings in Dongri.

The notice further states that if the consultant recommends any repairs for securing the structural stability of the building, the owner/occupier of the building should carry out the same within six months or face legal action under Section 471, MMC Act, 1888.

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