Buildings on the Brink: Mahim’s Rail View bldg declared highly dangerous, awaits redevelopment despite NOC from MHADA
Photo Credit: BL Soni

The once quaint and picturesque bungalow structure standing bang opposite Mahim station on the busy Senapati Bapat Marg now is among the 407 buildings in Mumbai declared under C1 category (highly dangerous) buildings. Covered by a blue tarpaulin on the top floors which have been evacuated, the ground floor is still being used by one Dias family (tenants).

The building is a cessed property under Mhada and is about to undergo redevelopment which stuck currently due to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as a court case.

A nightmare of Tenants:

On June 10, 2013, portions of ground plus a three-storey building in Mahim crashed on the Rail view building completely destroying the kitchen and bathrooms on the side.

The Dias family, tenants of the building - Rail view, located on Senapati Bapat Marg in Mahim witnessed a nightmare when its water storage tank and Stairway came crashing down around 1 am on June 10, 2013. The Dias family - a husband and wife were rescued unhurt, managed to escape the mishap before the cops could reach the spot.

What tenants say:

"Even though the MHADA has given and NOC, the process of redevelopment will take a few years at least to begin. First, there is a court case going on with the Landlord. Second, due to covid19, there was not only a delay in the process but there is a financial crisis too," said Mario Dias, tenant.

The Dias family has been residing in Bungalow / building as tenants since 1965.

Dias added: "After 2013, incident we occupy the ground floor, which is not in bad condition. The portion that is bad has been already vacated."

What officials say:

BMC officials confirmed that the structure on the front of the road on Senapati Bapat Marg Railway is assessed property under Mhada and has been declared dilapidated by the BMC and is part of the list of 407 buildings under the C1 category.

"We had already informed the Mhada about the building being unsafe, and they are well aware of the case. In their reply the Mhada authorities replied to us informing us that they have given a NOC for the redevelopment of the building," said a BMC official from G (North) ward (Mahim, Dadar, Dharavi).

Every year during monsoon building collapsed incident takes place in Mumbai city as many buildings are in a dilapidated condition and people continue to stay in such structures despite getting notice from authorities to vacate. MHADA, BMC conducts a survey of such buildings and give evacuation notices to high risk or most dangerous building to avoid humanity loss if any untoward incident happens.

As per BMC's data, as of March 31, 2021, there was a total of 485 C1 categories (highly dilapidated) buildings (list of 2020). Of these 148 buildings have been already demolished by the civic body until March 31, 2021. Total 107 of these buildings have already been vacated, while tenants are staying in 112 buildings despite no water and electricity connections. But, around 73 cases are still in court over disputes raised by tenants or landlords. Total 18 buildings have been proffered to the Technical Advisory Committee. " We have cut the electricity and water connections in the other buildings as per the procedure. Many of the buildings are either vacated ready, some are stuck due to disputes among landlords and tenants, remaining have already signed and finalised redevelopment plans,” said Anant Bhagwatkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner - Removal of encroachment department.

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