By Accommodation Times News Services
Who is responsible for repairing cessed buildings, is the question which have no answer inspite of there exits a authority who collects cess every year in the name of repair.
By Special Correspondent
We talk about the redevelopment, but forgets that over night 19000 old and dilapiodated buildings needs urgent repairs. BMC, before monsoon, will slap notices on the occupants, every year and get rid of its duty to protect lives of lakhs of people still reside in standing grave yeards.
Certainly Repair Board is responsible for all the lives. The Board is earning cess from these cessed and dilapidated building for decades. It is also responsible to shift them to transit camps whenever major repairs are carried out and restore them to their actual position.
Besides regular structural audits by its engineers, the board maintains records of the building including designs and record of repairs it carries on regular intervals. It also notify to the residents of dilapidated and dangerous buildings by pasting notice in the premises and declaring in the paper.
Inspite of all this, Sadaf and like wise many such buildings have taken heavy tolls in form of lives and property in the past. Nothing seems to be working. People live dangerously in these buildings, since they do not have any other alternative arrangements. Transit camps have become permanent residents of people migrated their for generations. The condition of transit camps are worst then any worst place to live in on this earth. The corrupt practice for favors, restricts these occupants to approach any authorities concerned.
Many Sadafs are waiting for total collapse. Unless they are moved out or given ownership rights to repair their premises, nothing will save them from disaster.
Government is helpless since there no land to construct the transit camps. Slum redevelopment schemes were forced to construct transit camps but occupied by obligations due to political parties and authorities.
Those building which are not cessed buildings and do not fall for a free repair from the board, are having no godfather. For major repairs, they have to seek permission from BMC and MHADA if it is MHADA building. Taking permission to repair is more difficult then to repair since red tapism and greedy officials never allow a single nail to be hammered without satisfying their demands. Hundreds and thousands of repair applications are pending in various files with authorities.
In fact, when BMC came heavily by issuing circular for compulsory annual structural audits, trade circle thought that now authorities wants serious business in repairs. But the circular witnessed the same state as happened in case of compulsory Rain Water Harvesting and Septic Tank.
Rent Act is another hurdle in repairs to Pugree building. Frozen ancient rent gives nothing but a feel of a father of a girl, who is married and misbehaved at her husband’s house. Landlord or the owners feel that with such token of a rent major repairs will be a liability and at the same time tenants think that it is the duty of the owner to repair at his own cost.
In Co-operative housing societies, chairman or the office bearer give honest attempt to call for tenders for repairs but members think that they are having vested interest. Sometimes when office bearers are corrupt, members do not pay their share in the repairs adding one more case to lakhs of cases pending in co-operative courts.
When was the last time you have noticed a major repair to a public premises? Certainly none or may be you can not remember. Authorities responsible for repairs are always short of funds. When lakhs of people visit Churchgate station every day, railway authorities have never witnessed cracks and seepages in the subways, to the main building. Foot over bridge at various stations like Santacruz, Khar, Andheri and elsewhere in the city are becoming slopping slides like chidden plays in playgrounds. Steps on these bridges have disappeared.
If we require massacres not to happen, we must wakeup at the call of Sadaf at once.