Civic bodies to be held accountable?

Following the dockyard building collapse and other similar incidents in the recent past, the Maharashtra government is considering coming up with a proposal to hold the concerned civic corporation accountable for negligence for such tragedies. However, the government is also of the view that audit of all existing buildings will not be possible for any of the civic bodies.
The BMC-owned building collapsed early on Friday leaving 13 people dead and dozens injured. Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan convened a high level meeting in the morning to review the relief work going on at the spot.
“The meeting was about the relief and rehabilitation work. The priority of the government is to save lives of the people. But the issue of fixing responsibility could not be avoided,” said a senior officer seeking anonymity.
“After the completion of the relief work, we are considering to come up with a mechanism that will hold officers of the concerned civic corporation responsible for such accidents,” the officer added.
A sudden spurt in building collapse cases has become a cause of concern for the state government. Building collapse cases in Thane, Mumbra, Mahim and now Dockyard Road have claimed lives of many citizens this year.
However, chief secretary Jayant Kumar Banthia is of the opinion that the building collapse in Thane was a different issue and cannot be combined with others. “The building on Dockyard Road is owned by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), while the Thane building which collapsed some months ago was an illegal one,” said Mr Banthia, adding, “The incident is no doubt very serious and hence all possible help was made available to the BMC to save lives.”
On the issue of negligence on the part of the BMC, the chief secretary said, “It is impossible for any corporation to conduct audit of all the buildings.”
He said that the building was of C-2 category, which means that it could be used for residential purpose, but needed immediate repair.

The estimate for repair work was also ready with the BMC.

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