Free Press Journal

Mumbai: Most residents leave fearing building collapse, some still latch on in Andheri


mumbai, andheri, bmc, andheri west, chouhan building,Photo by: BL Soni/Representational Image

Mumbai: Following evacuation notice from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), around 70 percent the residents of Chouhan building in Andheri (West) have vacated their houses in fear of the structure getting collapsed.  The BMC as part of its pre-monsoon related work had identified 664 buildings across Mumbai, which are in extreme dilapidated condition ahead of the monsoons. The Chouhan building belongs to that list.

Some residents who still occupy the homes fear that the building can collapse any moment and the civic body should make some provisions for the residents.  “Those who could leave and pay extra rent, left. We cannot afford to pay rent and we own the flat here. Nobody wants to take this on rent due to its condition. Where will we go by the time they redevelop the building?” asked a concerned Abida Salim, a resident who has been living there for over three decades.

The civic body had given a notice to the tenants of the said building as it was in a decrepit condition. The Chouhan building in K/West ward is around 60 years old and wears a dreadful look.  The building, however, is still well-occupied with chaiwalas and mithaiwalas to serve people during the month of Ramzan. “We are merely here for one month to serve tea and snacks for the people who come here for the festivities,” said the tea seller.

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Praful Solanki, 53, who now owns a garment and stitching shop his father used to run for 50 years in the same building, said, “The BMC people had come around 40-50 days back and asked us to vacate the plot as it is dangerous for living. We just finished all our work and will be leaving in a day or two. They should redevelop quickly because people are now getting scared.”

An official from K/West ward office said they will act on it as soon as the building is vacated. “We had sent evacuation notice to people warning them of its bad condition. Many left but some are still in two minds. I don’t understand why they would endanger their lives with monsoon just round the corner,” said the official. According to civic data as of March 2018, out of 664 dilapidated buildings, 99 of them had been already demolished while 101 buildings had been vacated. On remaining 434 buildings, BMC is taking necessary action.


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