As per their annual pre-monsoon ritual, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has tagged 16 buildings in the twin-city as dangerous and unfit for human habitation following an elaborate structural audit exercise conducted by the public works department (PWD).
Ward number six tops with five buildings followed by four and three buildings in ward number two and four respectively. While the civic administration has initiated the process to evacuate and demolish 14 buildings, owners of two structures have moved the judiciary, thus creating legal obstacles in taking any type of coercive steps. Notices under the relevant sections of the BPMC Act have already been issued and the concerned ward-in-charge has been directed to ensure that all rickety buildings are evacuated before May 31, said a senior officer.
As per the provision of law, it is obligatory on the part of every owner and occupier of buildings, which are more than 30 years old (or have been issued notices), to have them inspected and get the corrective repairs as suggested by the structural engineer and submit the structural fitness certificate to the MBMC, failing which could invite penal action.
While few buildings diligently get their structures repaired as per the audit reports, most choose to avoid the remainders and notices. Stung by the tepid response, the civic chief has directed the PWD to conduct structural audits of 30-year-old buildings before March or April every year and submit its report to the ward officers for further action. It should be noted that most of the old and dilapidated structures are on small plots which have already consumed a FSI of more than four, thus making redevelopment options difficult and non-viable under the existing permission norms.