MUMBAI: Allowing a dilapidated building to remain standing is not only a danger to occupants but also to passersby, said the Bombay high court. Justice Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi dismissed a petition filed by two tenants of an old dilapidated building in Vile Parle challenging the BMC’s directive to them to vacate so that the structure can be demolished.
“Out of 17 tenants in the building, except for the two tenants, (one with a shop and another with a residential premises), all of them have vacated the building. The society has already entered into a development agreement and rent for alternative premises is going to be paid by the builder,” said the judge, adding, “In such a situation, allowing the building to remain in existence, is not only dangerous to the lives of occupants themselves but also to the persons residing nearby and passersby. It is undisputed that the building is adjacent to the main road and, therefore, if it collapses, then it is likely to cause damage and destruction of human lives also. Therefore, it is necessary that they vacate the said building as it is better for them and others as well.”
The court gave the two tenants time till November 30 to vacate the building if they file an undertaking to do so. The court also absolved the BMC and the society of any responsibility for the tenants continuing to stay there. “(The tenants) shall also give an undertaking to the effect that they alone will be responsible for any loss or damage in case of any mishap caused to the building and they will be occupying the premises at their own costs and consequences. The civic body the will not be responsible for the same,” said the judge.
The ground-plus-four storey structure with 17 tenants is located in Vile Parle East. In 2011, the BMC issued a notice to all the occupants to vacate the building so that it can be demolished. All except, two tenants, challenged the notices. A trial court refused any relief, following which they approached the HC. The two contested the structural reports furnished by the society, with reports of their own by Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute.
Credits ET Realty