Why do some Mumbaikars continue to live in dilapidated buildings?

Buildings which are declared dangerous are not fit for possession. Yet people continue to stay in these crumbling houses.

Jun 28, 2017 11:50 AM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18


Ashwini Priolker

The Maximum City houses some of the finest buildings. Along with these fine buildings, there are many old and dilapidated buildings, too. Every year government bodies like BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) or Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority (MHADA) declare names of the most dangerous buildings with the onset of monsoons. This year BMC has declared 613 buildings as very dangerous.

Buildings, which are declared dangerous, are not fit for possession. Yet people continue to stay in these crumbling houses.

‘We have received 5 notices from BMC asking us to evict the building. But we can’t afford to do that. The rents in the city are very expensive. We will have to shell out Rs 30,000-Rs 40, 000 for a 1BHK, which is beyond our capacity. We will have to move to locations like Vasai or Nalasopara which is not feasible for us,” says Neha Shah, a resident of an old building in Andheri.

Several of these old buildings come under Maharashtra Rent Control Act. The buildings are maintained by the landlord and tenants pay the landlord a fixed rent. Many a time landlords completely neglect the repair of the old buildings thereby allowing the buildings to lie in a dilapidated condition.

“Our building was built in 1960. We have four landlords. Due to the infighting between the landlords we are unable to get our building repaired. Every monsoon we are scared for our lives,” says Iqbal Dosani, Andheri resident.

According to the experts, the need of the hour is for the government to come out with a policy to address this issue.

“The residents of tenanted buildings which come under the Maharashtra Rent Control Act have no legal recourse. They have to wait for the landlords to repair their buildings. There is no redevelopment policy in place for such buildings. The government, therefore, has to formulate some law for the redevelopment of these buildings,” says Vijay Samant, a Mumbai-based Project Management Consultant.

On the other hand, several residents, who decided to move out of their old and dangerous buildings are still waiting for their new homes. For some, the wait has been as long as 20 years.

There are 48 transit camps across Mumbai. These transit camps were built by the government. People moved into these camps from their old BMC/MHADA buildings. If things had gone as per plan, most of them would have got their homes within a few years.

But the condition on the ground is very different. The residents of the transit camps are languishing there for many years.

“My building was demolished in 1983. Till now we are suffering in the transit accommodation due to the bad administration of the MHADA authority,” says Mujahid Khan, a resident of a transit camp in Bandra.

These transit camps lie in a deplorable state. The structures are now quite old and there is a lack of sanitation. Residents also complain of water shortage and power cut problems.

In a nutshell, high rent, reluctance to move to remote locations, no redevelopment policy for tenanted properties and fear that they might never come back to their old homes play a big role in discouraging people from moving out of their old buildings thereby risking both lives as well as property.

Original Link : http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/trends/current-affairs-trends/why-do-some-mumbaikars-continue-to-live-dilapidated-buildings-2313437.html

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