NAGPUR: Civic officials may have to face the music if they are found delaying or denying building repair permissions deliberately. The state government ordered an inquiry into the alleged apathy by civic building and factory department officials in issuing such clearances.
Ranjeet Patil, minister of state for urban development department, said, “If a building is repairable, BMC officials have to give permission. If an inquiry finds that they had deliberately delayed or denied building repair clearance, action will be taken against them,” he said.
On Friday, the state legislative assembly again cleared a Bill allowing tenants to chip in and begin redevelopment of their dilapidated building if the owner fails to do so within a year after getting the BMC permission to do so. There are nearly 633 dilapidated buildings in Mumbai.
Last winter session, the assembly cleared BJP MLA Parag Alavani’s private Bill seeking to allow tenants of dilapidated buildings to take matters into their own hands, but the matter was not discussed in the legislative council. This year’s monsoon session, the private Bill was converted into government Bill and tabled before the lower house. “Though there is a provision under Section 499 of the BMC Act to give authority to tenants to repair buildings, civic officers deliberately disregard their application,” claimed Alavani. “All buildings have to submit a structural audit report to the BMC twice a year. An owner is served a notice to repair the building, if necessary and if the building is found beyond repairs, BMC demolishes it and the tenants, forcibly evicted, have no option but to accept the redevlopment condition.”
MLAs across party lines supported Alavani. Congress MLA Nitesh Rane said builders be penalized if they don’t complete the redevelopment within deadline, while NCP leader Jayant Patil suggested that if a builder fails to reconstruct a dilapidated building within three years, the government should take over the project. Congress MLA Kalidas Kolambkar said if 70% tenants give their consent for redevelopment, the government should permit them to do so without the owner’s consent and Amit Deshmukh, also from Congress, demanded that the BMC chief be held responsible in case of loss of life in a building crash. Patil assured that all suggestions will be considered.
Credits ET Realty