Mumbai: Voicing concern over increasing number of building collapse incidents in the city during the last one year, the Bombay High Court observed that authorities like the municipal corporation and Mhada must act in a more responsible manner rather than shifting blame on each other.
The remarks were made by a division bench of Justices V M Kanade and M S Sonak while hearing a petition filed by Hare Krishna Builders seeking a direction to the authorities of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) to take action towards evicting tenants from a 90-year-old building here which is in a dilapidated condition and may collapse.
The petitioner had entered into an agreement to re-develop the building. While 70 per cent of the occupants have agreed, the remaining 30 per cent tenants are refusing to vacate the premises despite being assured that they would be provided with rent by the builder to obtain alternate accommodation.
While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Fire Department have given their No Objection Certificate, Mhada authorities are insisting that it is the builder`s responsibility to provide alternate accommodation.
The court accepted that the building is in a completely dilapidated condition and is likely to collapse any time.
"It is common knowledge that in the last one year several buildings have collapsed in the city and it has resulted in loss of several lives. We would have expected the Mhada authorities and the Corporation to have acted in a more responsible manner rather than trying to put blame of shifting the occupants on one another and developer," the bench said.
"It is unfortunate that Mhada authorities and the Corporation are trying to play blame game and are trying to blame each other and also the petitioner for the delay caused in evicting the tenants who are not cooperating," the court said.
The bench has directed Mhada to hold an inquiry and pass appropriate orders within two weeks. The matter will be heard on November 27.