Mumbai: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has asked the Maharashtra government to evolve a transparent policy and criteria for prioritising the repairs of cessed buildings.
The CAG in its performance audit report on functioning of the Mumbai Building Repairs and Reconstruction Board (MBRRB) tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday said the pace of repairs and reconstruction/redevelopment of old cessed buildings undertaken by it, has been sluggish.
A cessed building is one that was built in the city before 1940. The state government has taken it upon itself to see to it that these buildings are repaired and, wherever necessary, reconstructed.
Out of the 19,642 cess buildings identified, MBRRB which came into existence in 1971, has so far reconstructed/redeveloped only 1,482 of them. The planning was deficient in the absence of priority list of cessed buildings which required structural repairs and lack of time-bound plans for reconstruction and redevelopment, it said.
The poor recovery of cess and service charges had an impact on the finances of the MBRRB thereby impeding its ability to carry out repairs and reconstruction works.
Delay in the reconstruction and redevelopment of cessed buildings and consequent shortfalls in meeting the targets led to dislocation of 7,872 tenants, who continued to occupy the transit tenements for a period ranging from one year to over 25 years.
Similarly, 627 surplus tenements received from developers were lying vacant for more than 20 years without allotment.
At the end of March 2012, the arrears in collection of cess and short remittances by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the state government to the MBRRB was Rs 907.81 crore. Structural repairs of 3,187 buildings though identified were not sanctioned due to fund constraints.