Redevelopment of old buildings come to focus once again

Redevelopment of old buildings come to focus once again

An aerial view shows monsoon clouds over Mumbai, India, June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

The vexed issue of redevelopment of 16,000-plus old buildings in Mumbai has come to the focus once again after the collapse of a portion of the Kesarbai Mansion of Dongri.
A majority of these building are in south Mumbai - towards the south of Dadar and some are over a century old, built during the British-raj.

In all,  there are over 16,000 old buildings and the issue involves tenants,  landlords,  trusts,  developers,  BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC),  Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and Mumbai Building Repairs and Reconstruction Board (MBRRB) and other agencies. 

More than 500 of those buildings in Mumbai are listed as dilapidated and dangerous.

"This is a big issue...499 buildings have been listed as dilapidated and dangerous by BMC while 23 by MHADA," said RTI and social activist Anil Galgali.

For redevelopment, alternative arrangements had to be made by developers or other agencies.

"The transit camps are in far suburbs like Mahul or Borivli, people are not ready to move out," said Congress MLA Amin Patel.

Another senior Congress leader and trade unionist Bhai Jagtap also said it is a difficult issue with no easy answers. 

"It is a difficult cannot put a gun on their head and ask them to move out," he said.

In fact, to discuss the issue, Shiv Sena leader and Yuva Sena president Aditya Thackeray met Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday night and requested for the speedy redevelopment of old buildings.

"The government needs to expedite the amendments proposed in the MHADA rules for speedy redevelopment. It must also expand to non-cess buildings from Urban Development department and to Slum Rehabilitation Authority," he said while adding that the government needs to speedily create alternate homes for people residing in dilapidated buildings/ PAPs.

NCP leader and former MHADA chairman Sachin Ahir alleged that State government and MHADA are responsible for the Dongri incident.

"There are 16, 000 such dilapidated buildings in the city, which are awaiting redevelopment. This is not only the problem of Kesarbai Mansion, but it is also the problem of 16000 such old buildings," he said.

“I have come to know that Rs.3000 per sq mtr had been fixed for the repair of the dilapidated building by the previous government, this amount has not been increased in last five years.” said Ahir.

“Government has not taken authority of such dilapidated buildings in its own hand and life of people has gone in the hands of Landlords and owners,"  said Ahir,  adding that more transit camps be made in the city.