Home / India News / Allowing families to occupy dilapidated structures completely unacceptable: Bombay HC
Mumbai: Allowing people to occupy dangerous structures that pose a risk to the public is unacceptable, the Bombay high court observed while seeking an explanation from authorities for failing to evict eight families from a dilapidated building in Bhendi Bazaar.
The court sought the explanation from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and MHADA on Tuesday while hearing a petition by Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust, which has undertaken a cluster redevelopment project in Bhendi Bazaar.
“I am wholly unable to understand why the MCGM (BMC) and MHADA, both statutory authorities and both armed with sufficient statutory powers, have not proceeded to take action not only for removal of the occupants but also for demolition of the building,” said justice Gautam Patel.
The judge was annoyed by inaction on the part of authorities, especially when they have ample powers.
“It hardly needs to be reiterated that under the MMC (Mumbai Municipal Corporation) Act, BMC has the power to forcibly demolish a dilapidated building, and under the MHADA Act, there are enough powers to remove occupants or tenants,” the judge said.
Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust approached the high court after BMC issued a notice threatening punitive action against the trust if it failed to evict occupants of Haji Ismail Musafirkhana. The civic body contended the building was extremely dilapidated and in imminent danger of collapse.
The trust sought a declaration that it would not be held liable or responsible if there was any mishap involving the building.
MHADA’s counsel responded to the petition by pointing out that one of the occupants of the building had obtained a status quo order from a civil court. The counsel assured the high court that action will be taken to evict the remaining seven families as soon as the Covid-19 lockdown is lifted.
Patel, however, felt the matter had acquired real urgency because of the approaching monsoon, and directed BMC and MHADA to file explanatory affidavits by June 12, when the petition will again be taken up for hearing.