Mumbai: Despite setting aside Rs 300 crore for dilapidated buildings, the BMC is doing very little to utilize these funds. In fact, the official list of such buildings is yet to be released.

Thousands of families live in approximate 1,300 dilapidated buildings across the BMC limits, which include both private and BMC limits. They have been living in the shadow of fear for the last one year or so. Notices to these buildings have been served, but neither the evacuation drive has been carried out nor have the residents been given any repair schedule. These buildings comprise both BMC buildings as well as private ones.

The BMC in the past has only been successful in driving out one section of people, its employees. Even this could be done only via force, when more than 100 BMC employees were suspended as they refused to vacate and shift to Mahul.

On the other hand, other people who are living in dilapidated buildings have to fight on more than one front. Firstly, moving to Mahul is highly impossible as most of them have their children studying in schools and colleges within the vicinity or somewhere close. Secondly, the new house requires a lot of interior work to the tune of approximate Rs 80,000, which many of them cannot afford. Thirdly, they never believe that the BMC will finish their repair works in the stipulated time. More than living in the dilapidated building, what hurt them most is the insensitive approach of the BMC towards the entire issue.

The task of identifying dilapidated buildings and the schedule of repairs should ideally start from October, post monsoon. However, monsoon is just round the corner and the BMC still hasn’t figured out the strategy. This is not only going to create more chaos, but also may lead to human casualty in case of heavy rains.              (Staff Reporter)

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