Millennium Post

KMC brings in provisions to send owners of unsafe buildings to jail

Kolkata: The Building department of Kolkata Municipal Corporation is all set to bring in the provisions of five years imprisonment against owners and occupiers of highly dangerous buildings for their failure to repair, secure or demolish such structures.

The KMC will reserve rights to slap a penalty to the tune of Rs 10,000 on an owner or occupant for failure in razing unsafe buildings and Rs 50,000 on an owner or occupants of such a building if they fail to secure the entire structure or its hazardous parts by fencing it.

"There are a number of unsafe buildings in the city that poses threat to its residents and endanger public safety. Altogether, 22 people had died after portions of a highly dangerous building fell on them in 2017. There have been instances when the house owners and occupiers have shown no interest in taking measures for securing the buildings, even we had slapped notices to them for vacating the building," a senior official of KMC's Building department said. The earlier provisions of fine was Rs 1,000 only and the daily fine imposed was also at the rate of Rs 1000 only.

The amendment in Section 411(1) and 411 (2) of KMC Act 1980 to include these new provisions has already been approved at the meeting of Member, Mayor-in-Councils on August 9 . The matter will be placed for necessary approval at the monthly meeting of the civic body scheduled on October 25.

The number of insecure buildings in the city are 2,500 while 300 are in the highly dangerous list.

The tenants or occupants of a building hesitate to move out of a dangerous building when it is pulled down apprehending that they will lose their right to stay in the same building when the owner will construct it afresh.

However, the civic body now gives tenants a certificate in writing the assurance that they will give sanction to the house owner for constructing the building afresh only when he mentions the space for lodging the tenants in that building.

Under Section 404 of the KMC Building Rules, the Municipal Commissioner under special circumstances can exercise his powers to ask inmates of insecure buildings to vacate the structures for public and their safety. The KMC has applied this for vacating a number of dangerous and dilapidated buildings in the city.

The KMC had passed the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill in the state assembly in March 2017 that owners of dangerous and dilapidated buildings may apply to the KMC with rehabilitation package for the tenants.

In such cases the civic body gives clearance to pull down the old structure to make room for a new one with 100 percent additional FAR (Floor Area Ratio)

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