Millennium Post

Owners of old buildings apply for clearance from KMC to construct new ones with proper facilities

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC)’s proposal to the owners of tenanted buildings to pull down the old structures and construct new ones with their proper rehabilitation has gone well with many such owners applying to KMC for clearance of the plans.

It is a major step towards the city’s beautification as ill maintained old buildings poses a serious threat. The KMC has identified nearly 1200 old buildings and asked their owners to repair them. On getting no response from them, KMC put up “dangerous and insecure” tag on them. But despite that the tenant refused to vacate the premises.

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has started giving sanction to construct new buildings after pulling down the old ones.

The KMC had proposed that owners of old tenanted structures would be given 100 per cent additional space coverage of the tenanted portion provided they agree to rehabilitate them under Rule 142 of Building Rules 2009.

Senior civic officials said that owners of many old buildings in boroughs2, 3, 4 and 5 which cover vast areas of North Kolkata including the central business district like Burrabazar and its neighbourhood had submitted plans to set up new buildings. To clear their plans the meetings of the Municipal Building Committee are held twice a month instead of one a month. 

Apart from senior officials of the Building department, an architect, representatives of fire and emergency services department and deputy commissioner of traffic department of city police are members of MBC.

Civic officials said many of the old buildings could not be pulled down because of litigation. In most of these cases the tenants pay less than Rs 100 as monthly rent. The owners file cases saying that they require that portion but fail to prove before the court. 

Meanwhile, the tenants go to rent control and pay the rent making the situation more complicated. Many of these owners do not pay KMC tax under the plea that as they are not getting rent so they cannot pay municipal tax.

To keep the interest of the owners and the tenants, the KMC amended the necessary section of the Building Rule. Many buildings of North Kolkata, particularly in vast areas surrounding Burrabazar where the owners could not do anything, will now be able to pull down and will get 100% space coverage with which they will rehabilitate the tenants.
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