The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has cut water and electricity connections in as many as 154 private residential buildings from April to June this year, over non-compliance of safety parameters.
Every year, ahead of monsoon, the BMC releases a list of C-1 category buildings that are unsafe for residential accommodation. This year, the BMC had listed 407 private and civic-owned buildings in the C-1 category. Most of these are in Bandra and Andheri. In the aforementioned period, the BMC issued evacuation orders to 98 buildings and demolished 148 dangerous structures on court orders. Civic officials maintained that all buildings belong to private owners and don’t belong to any government agency.
A senior civic official said that for private properties older than 30 years, a notice is issued to submit reports of structural audits of structures. “Based on these reports, we classify the buildings in various categories, and decide whether they should be demolished completely or need maintenance,” the civic official said.
The official said seldom do the occupants submit reports. As a result, the civic body has to penalise them by imposing fines. “The fine amount is recovered through property tax, and in case occupants of a private building don’t pay tax for a long time, we have the authority to cut electricity and water supply,” the official said.
The civic official added that there are 21 high-risk buildings in Mumbai and a technical committee will be consulted before taking action against them.
He said, “Many parts of the city have elevated land; during monsoon, if buildings are not maintained properly, they run the risk of collapsing. We need to take such harsh steps so that future loss of lives and properties could be prevented.”