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KMC to scrap building plans of 'insecure' structures

KMC to scrap building plans of insecure structures

Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will cancel the building plans of old insecure structures, if their owners do not pull them down and begin construction of new ones within one year.

The decision has been taken after it was found that many owners of old insecure houses, who have obtained permission from the civic authorities to pull down the old structures and construct new ones, are sitting on the projects.

Two years ago, the state government had decided that the owners of old insecure structures will be allowed to construct new buildings if they agree to rehabilitate their tenants.

In such cases, the owners would be entitled to get additional Floor Area Ratio (FAR). A Bill in this regard was passed unanimously in the Assembly.

The decision was taken after it was found that many owners had failed to maintain the old insecure structures because of litigation issues with the tenants.

There are over 2,000 old insecure structures in the city. The KMC had inspected the structures and declared them as insecure and dangerous. But despite the warning of the civic authorities, the tenants continue to refuse to vacate them. In 2017-18, around 20 people had died after portions of old and dilapidated structures fell on them.

According to the new rule, the owners and tenants will have to apply jointly to the KMC for construction of the new building after pulling down the existing one. The tenants will be rehabilitated properly.

However, it has often been found that on getting the sanctioned building plan, the owners along with the builders try to influence the tenants to vacate the area.

This gives rise to differences between the owners and the tenants. To stop this malpractice, the civic authorities have decided to scrap the building plan if no construction is carried out at the site.

Senior civic officials said the owners of many old and dilapidated structures have applied to KMC for development of their properties. In the meetings of the Municipal Building Committee (MBC), the applications are processed and clearances are being given on a war footing.

The civic authorities have also launched a massive campaign, asking the owners of buildings that are more than 50 years old to examine the health of the structures by empanelled structural engineers.

The civic officials feel that old insecure structures, where the owners cannot be traced, are the most problematic of the lot.

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