Bhandup building crash: Residents await NOC from Salt department for 5 years, BMC yet to conduct a structural audit
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Residents of Bhandup's Indralok Society are living in distress after a portion of their four storeyed building came down crashing on Monday.

The living room of a second floor apartment of the building fell down on Monday, following which; a family of four was severely injured. There are 56 flats and more than 200 people residing in the building. Monday's incident has put the residents of the building under stress as presently the building is not very safe to live in.

The building was built in 1996 on a plot, that was leased by the residents from the Salt department of Maharashtra government, which later got merged with the Department Of Commerce And Industry.

As the condition of the building had deteriorated over the years, residents of the building wrote to the Department of Commerce and Industry, seeking a 'No Objection Certificate' for carrying out repairing works.

"We have been writing letters since 2016, but till date we are yet to receive the NOC letter. Unless we have the NOC we won't be able to carry out repair works," Ratish Shetty a resident of the building told FPJ.

The residents informed that an NOC letter is important to carry out repairing works because the building was built on a leased plot.

"The lease period is of 99 years and we cannot carry out any alterations on the property unless we have an NOC," Shetty added.

The residents further highlighted that three days had passed following the collapse incident but the civic officials are yet to conduct a structural audit. Shetty said, the residents had done a structural audit by a private auditor, who suggested getting a NOC is the only viable option.

"There are families living with children, we are spending each day in trauma wondering what may happen next" said a resident.

Local BJP Corporator, Sarika Pawar stated that in the constituency most of the residential buildings are built on the lands of the Salt department.

"I have told the residents to vacate the building, we can arrange alternate rehabilitation for them at local BMC schools as there are no refugee camps in my area," Pawar told FPJ.

However, BMC officials refrained from saying anything on record, but a BMC structural auditor mentioned unless the residents get an NOC, the civic body doesn't have the authority to carry out repair works.

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Free Press Journal