With pockets heavy, NMC bosses unmoved to avert collapsing of dilapidated buildings

The words “Trusting our intuition often saves us from disaster” are not in the dictionary of NMC. And the meaning of “We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces” is beyond understanding of the highly-educated top babus.

One such dilapidated building in Dhantoli,in-front of Dinanth School

Nagpur News: The fact that even the cubs of different mammals when hungry call their mothers is very much true. This fact concerns to mute animals. However, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) authorities, fully able to communicate with words in a certain language, go for help when a disaster involving collapsing of dilapidated buildings in the city takes place. The monsoon has knocked the doors of Nagpur, and, even the doors of the buildings which are on the verge of collapsing any day or two if the poor condition of these buildings is an yardstick.

However, the NMC’s ways and means of facing disasters, tragedies, or any situation of the likes are totally different apart from bilnd vision. The words “Trusting our intuition often saves us from disaster” are not in the dictionary of NMC. The lethargic and python-like slow motions of NMC bosses would certainly create a sort of disaster if the dilapidated buildings cave in and prove fatal for many citizens. The words “delayed actions” are the buzzword of the NMC bosses if the present situation in concerned NMC departments are to be taken into consideration.

The NMC authorities, well-apprised of hundreds of poor conditioned buildings or any other structures have been standing “tall” but ever ready to flatten themselves, have failed to take action ignoring the directives of the State Government and NMC Commissioner Shyam Wardhane. A total of 256 dilapidated buildings continue to stand though the deadline to act against them was June 15. The actual number of buildings may be higher.

Following regular incidents of building collapse in various parts of the state, the Government amended the bylaws and directed the civic bodies to ensure inspection of all buildings in the city and action against the dilapidated structures in 2011. The civic bodies were directed to appoint structural engineers for speedy and thorough work.

However, leave alone even appointing structural engineers till date, the NMC is mocking at the Government’s directives. Instead it has passed on the responsibility to its junior engineers already burdened with other works. Still, the engineers counted the number of dilapidated structures last year at 227. Notices were served on 122 owners. Repairs works were carried at 34 while the engineers claimed to have demolished 50 buildings. Another 51 house owners went in appeal. Thus, 143 buildings identified last year are still standing “tall”, albeit, at the mercy of Rain God. But Rain God, when time is up, strikes without warning, and, without mercy, too.

The Municipal Commissioner Shyam Wardhane and Additional Deputy Municipal Commissioner Ravindra Kumbhare had directed zone offices to ensure inspection and action against all such buildings before June 15 keeping in mind arrival of monsoon. This year, 164 buildings were identified as weak. Notices were issued to 84 and repairs carried out on 25. The engineers claimed they demolished 26 buildings. Owners of 11 have gone into appeal. Thus, 113 structures still stand. Added to last year’s, in all 256 dilapidated buildings are standing without any action with people living in most of them with their lives in the hands of powerful Rain God.

“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”


Unauthorized and illegal structures in  city

Now, apart from the numbers of dilapidated buildings which have not drawn attention of the NMC bosses,another monstrous problem of unauthorized and illegal structures is raising its ugly head in the city. And, most importantly, leave alone commas, semi-colons, there is no full stop at all. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation has detected 2,321 new cases in the last two months. The process to recover two times more property tax from these illegal structures has been kicked off following the slow pace of action from the zone offices.

According to the data available with the NMC’s Town Planning Department, the number of illegal structures was 1,187 in the last financial year. Notices under various sections of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act were issued to 904. The engineers claimed to have taken action and also demolished 596 unauthorized and illegal structures.

After fresh inspection, the engineers found new cases of unauthorized and illegal structures. The total number of cases, including last year’s 1,187, has gone up to 3,508. The cases are of buildings constructed without permissions, buildings comprising construction more or in violation of sanctioned plan, buildings witnessed user change without any approval etc.

Most shocking is the delay in action to be taken after serving notices under the MRTP Act. And example is the Neeti Gaurav Complex situated in Ramdaspeth. The building had an approval for commercial shops but it has been converted into hospitals without any permission. At a couple of spots, the balconies and the terraces have been covered.

Thus there is no “the end” to cropping up of illegal structures, and, there is also, no “the end” to pockets of concerned authorities getting heavier and heavier. This is obvious.