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BMC makes new policy on dilapidated buildings

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In order to streamline the process of declaring any building dilapidated, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is finalising a policy which will be based on guidelines provided by Bombay High Court on vacating a dilapidated building.The policy has provisions for making structural audits mandatory for a building before declaring it dilapidated, and for prosecution of the owner for not carrying out structural audit even after a notice is issued by the BMC.”The policy will protect the rights of tenants, and it will do away with the practice of arbitrary declaration of dilapidated building,” said a senior official from the civic body’s Building Proposal department.According to the official, who declined to be named, the need for a separate policy arose after tenants kept approaching courts for clarity on the way buildings are being declared dilapidated, claiming that owners had kept them in the dark even after those buildings had already been declared dilapidated.”Disputes between tenants and owners often lead to delays in vacating a dilapidated building,” said the official.While hearing a writ petition on the issue, the Bombay High Court order had laid down a standard operating process (SOP) for vacating a dilapidated building, based on which the BMC has formulated the new policy, this official added.The owner of a dilapidated building will also have to certify the area each tenant has to ensure that they get the correct amount of space during redevelopment. “If the owner does not certify the area, BMC officials will certify,” said the official.The policy also suggests formation of five new Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) to address disputes over the structural audit.NEW POLICYThe new policy will protect the rights of tenants as the owner cannot declare a building dilapidated simply to go in for redevelopment. As a copy of the structural audit report must be displayed in the building premises, tenants’ complaints of not being aware of the status of the building will also be addressed.

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