Millennium Post

Fire and Emergency dept urges KMC to take up cases of old buildings with HC

Also, the KMC will conduct a survey to find out the exact number of dangerously dilapidated structures in the city. There are more than 2,000 unsafe and old buildings in the city while preliminary information says that the number of dangerously dilapidated houses would be around 700.

A high-level meeting was held in the chamber of Mayor Sovan Chatterjee at KMC headquarters on SN Banerjee Road on Thursday afternoon. The municipal commissioner Khalil Ahmed, commissioner of police Rajeev Kumar, director general (building) Anindya Karfarma, director general (fire and emergency services) Sanjay Mukherjee and other senior officials of KMC, fire and emergency services and city police also took part in the meeting.

The meeting followed the death of two persons after a century old building collapsed on Pathuriaghata Street in North Kolkata on September 13.

The second round of the high-level will be held on September 28 and the decisions of the meeting would be placed before the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and there would be proposals to amend the existing laws.

Preliminary investigation revealed that most of the old structures including the dangerously dilapidated buildings are situated in Borough II, III, IV and V in North Kolkata.

Most of them are situated on Kalikrishna Tagore Street, Nimtalaghat Street, Kalakar Street, Strand Bank Road, Harinbari Lane, Jamunalal Bajaj Street. There are dangerously dilapidated buildings in Bhowanipore and Kalighat too.

Senior civic officials said in many of the old structures, it was difficult to find out who the owners are. In many buildings, there are litigations over the property. The rent is very low and the owners find it difficult to repair them. In many cases, the tenants deposit the rent in rent control due to court cases. All these things will be discussed at length in the second meeting.

Meanwhile, the KMC has brought out a unique scheme where the owners of tenanted old structures can get 100 per cent additional space in the tenant occupied portions provided they agree to rehabilitate the tenants.

The scheme has received favourable response and the Municipal Building Committee (MBC) is meeting twice a month when the application of the owners of such buildings are examined and given clearance.

The KMC is also trying to find out why the owners of old buildings are not approaching the civic authorities in greater numbers to avail the scheme.
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