One person was killed and three others injured when a portion of an old dilapidated building on Rabindra Sarani collapsed on Saturday afternoon. Local people said a portion of the building collapsed around 2.30 pm injuring four people. They were taken to hospital where one was declared brought dead and three others admitted in a critical condition. A team from KMC visited the spot and removal of debris started. The KMC will pull down the insecure portion of the structure.
The building department of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) had declared the building as” unsafe and dilapidated” and asked the owners to repair it. But the owners did not repair the nearly 150 year old structure.
Senior KMC officials said of over 2000 old buildings in the city which had been declared as unsafe and notices put up most of them are situated in the central business district covering an area from BBD Bag to parts of North Kolkata. Most of these properties are litigated and the owners do not get rents as they are being deposited in rent control. As a result, the buildings become nobody’s property. In many cases the original owners die and their descendents are engaged in partition suit. Also, the price of cement, sand and other construction materials have become so costly that the owners do not feel the urge to repair the structures because of the paltry sum they receive as rent.
The official said to resolve the issue the KMC had brought an amendment to the building rules where owners of old buildings willing to rehabilitate their tenants would get more space for the portion where the tenants would be rehabilitated.