Residents of Punita Appartments in Kandivli have taken decided to take up redevelopment of the building on their own, after the BMC declared their building as a C1 structure, which is unfit for habitation and in an extremely dangerous state.
According to the members of the society, the building was constructed in the late 1980s. The society is bifurcated into two wings and is spread over a plot at Swami Vivekananda Road in Kandivli (W). There are 36 members who reside in the society. However, many of them have relocated to nearby buildings in the last few years.
What residents say:
“After the BMC declared the building as C1 three years ago, we told them that we will carry out redevelopment ourselves. We asked them for permission,” said one of the society members. He said that work was supposed to begin last year, however, due to the pandemic; the entire process has been postponed.
The member said, “Before the building goes for redevelopment, we want all the members to be on the same page. Some of them are now settled abroad and some have sold their flats. The new owners are hesitant to pay so much money for the repairs, due to which the process is taking so long.”
Another member of the society claimed that the building is not in such a bad state for which it requires to be redeveloped. Just carrying out repairs will help. “If the building goes for complete redevelopment, then where will the residents stay?” the member questioned.
He said that even though many support the idea of complete redevelopment, there are some who are in favour of conducting only repairs.
“There are buildings that are more than 100 years old and are still standing tall. In the structural audit that we conducted, it clearly states that repair work will suffice and demolishing the entire building is not necessary,” he said.
However, another member contradicted saying that redevelopment is necessary as there are complaints of leakage that has eventually weakened the foundation of the structure.
What officials say:
Meanwhile, civic officials have said that if the members delay in going in for redevelopment then the BMC may move the court. “The good thing about this society is they themselves have taken the responsibility of redevelopment. They have also held a few meetings with private builders,” said an official.
“We had sent them a letter demanding structural audit reports three years ago. In the report, it was found out that the building needs immediate repairs as its condition has deteriorated. If there is a delay, then we may levy a penalty on them,” said the official.