BENGALURU: There are hundreds of dilapidated buildings in the city, posing a threat to the lives of residents and neighbours, but Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) authorities maintain that there are hardly 100 such buildings.
There are 20 lakh buildings in BBMP limits of which four lakh are commercial complexes and shops.
In 2013-14, BBMP had done a rough survey and identifed 62 weak buildings of which 48 are in the core areas of the city (South, East and West zones). Only 41 of them were issued notices and six of them were razed.
Now, according to the BBMP Town Planning department, the number might have gone up to 100.
Speaking to Express, a senior BBMP official, however admitted that there may be more than 1,000 weak buildings. “We do not want to create fear among people. There are thousands of buildings in the core areas which were constructed some 60-70 years ago. But people residing there are not willing to vacate. Some even got stay orders from courts. If courts interfere, what can we do?’’ he questioned.
Also, there are under-construction buildings that are being built without proper plans. Property owners get the plan sanctioned for two floors, but construct for five floors. “Unfortunately, our engineers are hand in glove in this. If any tragedy strikes, BBMP will be blamed,’’ the official said.
Urban expert V Ravichandar says it is difficult to assess the life of a building as the quality of materials used for building matters. However, buildings that were constructed before 1960 have to be certified by a competent authority. “BBMP has the data of property tax payers. They will also have the data of year of construction. By this they will get to know the age of the building,” he said.
Ravichandar pointed out that there is no scientific survey conducted by BBMP. “When there is a proposal to scrap vehicles that are more than 15 years old, why not buildings?’’ he asked.
Speaking to Express, BBMP Deputy Director (Town Planning) Raghavendra said they have been issuing notices to owners of dilapidated buildings. “Once we serve the notice, they should vacate and demolish it. If not, we will do it and the cost will have to be borne by the property owners who will have to pay it along with the property tax,’’ he said.
Mayor G Padmavathi said she will direct the Commissioner to instruct all ward engineers to conduct spot inspections and collect details of all weak buildings in their jurisdiction.
“More challenging than identifying the buildings is to vacate the residents. Since 1998, we have been telling the residents of MS Building in Jayanagar to move out. We will make alternative arrangements for them and construct 2-BHK flats for them in the same premises. But they are insisting on 20x30 feet plots,” she pointed out.