Most of these buildings, which are mainly situated in south Mumbai are chawls with over four lakh families residing in them.
Mumbai: The collapse of the 117-year old Hussaini building at Bhendi Bazaar in south Mumbai has again brought to fore the issue of cessed buildings in the city. There are more than 16,000 cessed buildings, which are likely to prove future death traps, as most of them are dilapidated.
Most of these buildings, which are mainly situated in south Mumbai are chawls with over four lakh families residing in them. In C ward, which consists of Bhendi Bazaar area, there are some 4,500 cessed buildings of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada).
“There are 16,000 cessed buildings and thousands of lives are at risk, the responsibility of which should be borne by Mhada. These buildings need to be redeveloped on priority. Their structural audit needs to be done immediately and funds should be made available for their redevelopment,” said corporator Rais Shaikh from the Samajwadi Party.
The state has decided to redevelop these buildings under the cluster redevelopment policy whereby dilapidated buildings, cessed buildings and buildings of the state government and Mhada that are more than 40 year old are entitled to redevelopment. In the island city of Mumbai, 1,000-1,500 land parcels have been identified for cluster development.
According to the policy, the approval of 70 per cent of the tenants is required for redevelopment; the approval of the rest can be secured within a year. However, for dilapidated buildings and those declared risky to reside, such approvals will not be required. In such cases, the government will acquire the land and incorporate those buildings under the cluster redevelopment policy. Experts have said old buildings need immediate attention for redevelopment to prevent life-threatening events in the future. Pranay Goyal from ‘Managing Wedevelopment’ said, “The municipal corporation has declared a number of buildings unsafe and in need of urgent redevelopment. However, lack of society’s involvement and less consideration to their needs lead to collapsing of buildings, uncalled deaths and disaster. Repair of these buildings from time to time may be a quick solution but it may not prove beneficial in the long term. Negligence can lead to misfortunes hence they need to be redeveloped on an immediate basis (sic).”