Mayor urges owners to cooperate with KMC
Kolkata: Mayor Sovan Chatterjee has urged owners of old dilapidated buildings to cooperate with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) in order to restore the crumbling structures.
Chatterjee said many owners of old buildings are not aware of the new KMC Act and the civic authorities are ready to cooperate with them. "In case of any confusion, KMC officials will clarify all their queries. But the civic authorities cannot sit idle allowing the old buildings to collapse risking the lives of people," he said. The KMC has set up a committee headed by the joint municipal commissioner to identity old and dilapidated buildings. The borough executive engineers will identify the old structures which will be inspected by the team members.
The KMC has urged the owners of buildings which are more than 50 years old and have not been repaired for years to get the structures inspected by enlisted structural engineers and repair them. The KMC has issued notices to the owners of many such buildings and urged them to repair them. In case they fail to comply, KMC will auction the properties and the builders will pull down the old buildings to make room for new ones where the owners and the tenants will be rehabilitated. The builder will get additional FAR. It was the Mayor who came up with this novel idea as this is the only way to save the old buildings. The state Assembly had unanimously passed the Bill this year. Chatterjee hoped that the owners of old buildings will follow the new Act. The Act will also help to rebuild the buildings where the owners could not be traced. There are over 1000 old buildings in the city where the owners could not be traced and the tenants have not been paying the rent for decades. There are premises where the owners cannot repair the structures because of court cases with the tenants. KMC officials felt that the new Act will address these practical problems and help to pull down the old buildings and construct new ones in their places.