The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to recruit 252 more Mukadams or Technical Assistants, who serve as the eyes and ears of the civic administration on the ground, to keep a watch on the illegal constructions in the city. The decision has been taken following the recommendation from a three-member committee formed to probe the causes of the ground-plus-four-storey Sai Siddhi building collapse, which happened on July 25, 2017, killing 17 people including two infants.
In the inquiry report of Sai Siddhi building collapse in Ghatkopar submitted by the committee, led by the BMC additional municipal commissioner Vijay Singhal, the panel has suggested that the presence of Mukadams could have prevented the Ghatkopar incident as they are meant to keep a watch on illegal constructions, or illegal alterations in buildings in the city.
After the Sai Siddhi building collapse, DNA had reported in its July 29 issue, that the BMC’s vigilance on illegal constructions or alterations in buildings across the city was not as frequent in the last five years due to inadequate number of Mukadams.
The BMC has started implementing the recommendations of the enquiry committee. Of the 252 Technical Assistants to be appointed, 227 will be given to the BMC’s Building and Factory department, and the remaining 25 to the Building Proposal Department of BMC. “These Technical Assistants will also keep a watch on buildings where the Commencement Certificate (CC) and Occupation Certificate (OC) have been given to check any illegal constructions,” said a senior civic official.
According to civic officials, every civic constituency should have at least one mukadam. So, there should be at least 227 mukadams in the B&F department of the BMC. However, officials from the B&F department say that they are short of around 150 mukadams. Even, the N-ward, where the building collapse took place, did not have sufficient number of mukadams.
“The role of mukadam is to be in constant touch with building material suppliers, and visit the site where bulk material is supplied,” said a civic official from the B&F department. He further added that since the mukadam is aware of the material supplied, he can secretly enter those premises where construction work is underway.
The Technical Assistants that will be appointed by the BMC should have passed school secondary with ITI in civil engineering. “The process will soon start and within a month time, the recruitment process will be completed,” added the official.
MUKADAMS IN BMC
80 Present strength
252 Total Requirement
227 Building and Factory department
25 Building Proposal department
Each ward to get: At least one, however, bigger ward may get more than one