BMC (Bruhanmumbai Municipal Corporation) commissioner Sitaram Kunte has said that they are making proposals for new buildings approval very stringent thus shifting the responsibility for structural stability of buildings on the developers. Now, the builders have to ensure structural stability of buildings by taking precautionary measures at the time of designing itself about contruction and maintenance of proposed new buildings.
As per the new circular issued by the office of municipal commissioner of February 4,2014 “ Building proposals will be approved if all underground structural members’ area designed considering the effect of chlorinated water, sulphur water, seepage water. Due care while constructing the same should be taken and a completion certificate shall be insisted on before granting further certificate if commencement (cc) beyond the plinth from the licensed structural engineers,”
The Civic Officials have said that the chances of building collapse often increase when the foundation of a structure is not as per required structural stability measures. They have also said that the underground water from drains might corrode the reinforced cement (RCC) beams/ pillars which are the foundation of buildings. The architects and developers argue that such directive is not foolproof.
Mr.Shirish Sukhatme, president of the practicing Engineers Architects and Town Planners Association (PEATA) has said number of civic structures such as storm water drains and sewage lines which are damaged due to infrastructure work causes seepage causing damage to a particular building. He has also said this exercise is useless if the adjacent or neighbouring building has seepage problems.
Recently there were a number of incidents of building collapses in Mumbai which has thrown light on lack of structural stability of buildings in the City. The builder had made illegal alteration on the ground floor, including removal of beams and columns in the Aftab Manzil collapse case in June 2013, which claimed 10 lives. Similarly, in April 2013 another illegal building in Mumbai (Mumbra area) had collapsed killing 61 people. This illegal building had no structural stability design.