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KMC show-causes house owners of 20 'dangerously dilapidated buildings'

KMC show-causes house owners of 20 dangerously dilapidated buildings
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Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has issued show-cause notices to the owners of 20 "dangerously dilapidated buildings" asking them to explain why actions should not be taken against them.
The owners are required to reply to the KMC notice within 15 days. After that the civic officials will sit with them and if they fail to comply, the civic authorities will acquire the building and hand it over to a realtor who in turn will construct a new house after pulling down the old structure with proper rehabilitation for the owners and the tenants.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation Amendment Act has empowered the KMC to take action against the owners of dangerously dilapidated buildings. The Bill which was placed in the Assembly in the Budget session was unanimously passed.
The KMC has conducted massive awareness campaign by putting up hoardings at the intersections of important thoroughfares asking the owners of dilapidated buildings to get the health of their houses examined by empanelled structural engineers. Such notices have also been put up in front of dilapidated houses.
But the "dangerously dilapidated houses" are posing a serious threat to the lives of those who continue to live there despite requests by the civic authorities. Around 20 people have died so far in the city since April when portions of the dilapidated houses fell on them.
The officials said the houses against which show-cause notices have been issued have not been repaired for decades. Not only are the houses threats to the inmates, but at any time portions of them can collapse and fall on those walking down the pavement.
"Most of the incidents of collapse of old ill maintained houses have taken place in the rainy season. But as monsoon has receded, the number of such incidents will go down and by the time next monsoon sets in, KMC will get the chance to pull down some of them to make room for new houses."
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