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KMC to begin demolition of dangerous & dilapidated buildings

Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will start demolition of dangerous and dilapidated buildings in the city from Wednesday. The drive will start from one such building located at 16B, Rani Rashmoni Road.
Sources in the building department of the civic body said that they had identified a dozen such buildings, that according to them needed immediate razing.
However, Municipal Commissioner Khalil Ahmed has given the nod to demolish seven such buildings.
It may be mentioned that commissioner Khalil Ahmed has used his special powers to issue the express order for the demolition of these dangerous and dilapidated buildings.
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 the public and their safety.
"We want to complete the drive before the arrival of monsoon. Due to lack of maintenance of these
structures, the roofs have lost their waterproofing capacity. When it rains, the rainwater is stored on the roof, resulting in increase in the weight of the building. The weak foundation,
being unable to bear the additional weight, collapses resulting in loss of lives. 22 people had died after portions of old buildings fell on them in 2017," a senior official of the Building department said.
The demolition team of KMC is already prepared and the police will accompany the KMC team to ensure safety of the officials. The team is not ruling out resistance from the occupants during the drive.
"There are still a number of reluctant residents inhabiting these build-
ings. We will not use force to vacate but will try to convince the residents about the hazards these buildings pose. Demolition will be undertaken only
in those parts of the buildings which are not inhabited," the official
added.
The department has set a target of razing one building a day. According to sources in the department, apart from the building at Rani Rashmoni Road, the others that figure in the demolition list are located at S N Banerjee Road, Lenin Sarani and B B Ganguli Street.
According to a senior official of the department, the civic body had earmarked over 100 buildings across the city as Grade-1 dilapidated buildings, which need to be pulled down without delay, as they pose the maximum risk of collapsing without notice. These are among the 1,500 houses, which have been declared as unsafe.
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