MUMBAI: In the wake of the building collapse in Mazagaon, the BMC will form a standard technical advisory committee (STAC) to monitor building safety in a scientific manner. This committee will function on the lines of the civic body’s STAC for roads and will play a crucial role in deciding the nature of dangerous categories for dilapidated buildings in the city.
The decision was mentioned in the minutes of a meeting that was held by municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte last Sunday. The move comes after it was observed that at present, visual inspection, and no scientific method, decides a building’s category—C1 (dilapidated and in need of urgent demolition), C2 (dangerous part of building needs to be demolished and repaired) and C2A (those in need of urgent repairs).
“Kunte has directed formation of a STAC to put in place a scientific method for classifying the buildings,” said a senior civic official.
The committee will comprise experts from VJTI, IIT, two structural consultants, chief engineer (development plan), chief engineer (planning and design) and officials from Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Authority and public works’ department, under the chairmanship of a retired HC judge. It will hear grievances, will be instrumental in issuing structural stability certificates and handle other related issues regarding repairs, restoration and eviction of C1, C2 and C3 category buildings.
The director, engineering services and planning (ES&P), will prepare a draft order to the effect for approval by the municipal commissioner. The collapse has also brought to the fore another issue: when opinions on a building’s structural stability are sought from two structural engineers, it has been noticed that two diametrically opposite views are submitted.
The director (ES&P) should hold meetings with the association of structural engineers and apprise them about non-professional practices adopted by their members. The director should also expeditiously deal with the inter-departmental problems.
“It will be the director’s responsibility to ensure that the proposal for repairs to the buildings are not unduly delayed. S/he should regularly renew utilization of funds earmarked for repairs to various civic buildings,” said the official. S/he should submit minutes of the meeting, along with the action taken report, to additional civic commissioner (western suburbs) and the civic chief every month.