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Go online before it collapses

The state government has taken a decision to approve permission required for renovation of old buildings online.

The Ghatkopar building collapse incident which claimed17 lives has raised questions about the safety of several other dilapidated buildings in the city. Often residents find it difficult to obtain permission from the BMC for undertaking repair work of old buildings. The tedious process of approaching various departments often take several months as the building renovation work gets delayed. For addressing this issue, the state government has taken a decision to approve permission required for renovation of old buildings online. By doing so the government wants to create a single window for obtaining clearances from various departments. Thus citizens can heave sigh of relief as they don’t have to run from pillar to post for obtaining permission for renovation of dilapidated buildings. Often bureaucracy creates a lot of delay and hence the city witness incidents like Ghatkopar building collapse tragedy.

“The procedure for obtaining permission for renovation of old buildings will be done online. If the residents staying in such buildings fail to carry out a structural audit then the BMC will send them a notice in this regard. Those buildings that are older than 30 years will have to undergo structural audit mandatorily. A notice has already issued by the civic body to occupants of old buildings,” said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

“Permission will be granted to buildings within 24 hours where a structural consultant mentions that repairing activity won’t affect the buildings structure. The government is keen to develop a system to make the procedure of repairing of old buildings smoother,” added Fadnavis.

Fadnavis announced Rs two lakh to kin of those who died in Ghatkopar building collapse incident. He also said in the Assembly that the government would bear hospital expenses of those injured.

On the other hand, opposition parties have demanded strict action to be taken against accused responsible for the building collapse incident.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena worker Sunil Shitap who owns atleast three floors of the building that collapsed in Ghatkopar has been arrested. The bodies of at least 17 people have been pulled out from the rubble of the building. Residents of the housing society had alleged Sunil was keen to convert the ground floor into a nursing home and hence he had undertaken structural changes without seeking permission from the civic body.

A case has been registered against Shitap under IPC sections 304 (II) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others).

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