HC asks Maha govt on action to demolish dilapidated buildings
Mumbai: Highlighting the risk faced by people living in precariously dangerous buildings, the Bombay High Court today directed the Maharashtra government to explain what action it proposes to take if authorities fail to demolish dilapidated buildings.
A bench of justices Abhay Oka and Girish Kulkarni asked the government to file an affidavit by November 15 while hearing a PIL filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar seeking action against negligent officers who fail to act resulting in death of people during collapse of such dangerous buildings.
“This is a serious issue… so many people lose their lives in building collapses every year. You (government) should be serious about it,” remarked Justice Oka.
Posting the hearing on November 21, the judges directed that the government affidavit should be filed by an Urban Development Department officer of the rank of Secretary or above.
The petitioner said he learnt about a building in Dadar east ‘Om Sat Niwas CHS Ltd’ which was declared dilapidated but its plans for redevelopment were not being sanctioned by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) as they allegedly refused to bribe the officials.
“I learnt from the secretary of a dilapidated building named ‘Om Sat Niwas CHS Ltd.’ in Dadar east that the proposal for redevelopment is pending necessary approvals in MCGM office for over a year due to the developer not meeting the bribe demand of the Executive Engineer of the civic body,” the PIL alleged.
Constructed in 1940, the building was certified as dilapidated first, by a structural consultant appointed by the society members and subsequently by the VJTI RCC department.
The procedure for facilitating redevelopment was mooted by the society in May 2013 and since then the file has been travelling from the local BMC ward office in Matunga to the Engineer’s office in Byculla, the PIL claimed.