Soon, KMC to issue occupancy certificates to tenants

Kolkata: To ensure rights of tenants in dilapidated buildings that may require demolition and reconstruction, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will soon start issuing occupancy certificates to them.

Mayor Firhad Hakim, on Friday, said the state government had already passed the Bill that will enable the civic body to issue occupancy certificates. He said, currently, the Bill is pending with Governor CV Ananda Bose for his assent.

Sources confirmed that the principal secretary of the Urban Development and Municipal Affairs department, Khalil Ahmed was summoned by the Governor on Friday for a discussion on the Bill.

Hakim said hopefully it will be cleared soon and following that, KMC will issue a notification which will enable us to issue such certificates to tenants.

On Friday, the Mayor got a call from a resident of Muzaffar Ahmed Street who said their residence is in a dilapidated condition and may collapse any day. He said the owner has been repeatedly requested to carry out repair works. The Mayor assured that the civic body will visit the building and put up a tag of ‘dangerous building’.

He said in case the owner agrees to rebuild the structure, the civic body will issue the complainant, who is a tenant, an occupancy certificate once the pending Bill becomes an Act.

Ahead of the monsoon season, the civic body is already compiling a list of buildings that pose a threat. There are more than 3,000 insecure structures in the city and out of these nearly 1,200 buildings have been declared as dangerously insecure.

A KMC official added that in most cases there are legal disputes between the owner and tenants.

“Owners say they do not have the money to carry out maintenance while tenants complain that it is the duty of the owner to carry out

maintenance since they are paying rent to the owner,” the official said.

KMC sources said to break this impasse and leave no room for doubt, the civic body is now including the names of tenants in the sanction plan for the new building that is to be reconstructed.

“This will assure the tenants that they will be allotted a space once the new building comes up. We try to give them the same amount of space that they occupied previously. There may be a minor difference but nothing significant. The decision was taken by the Mayor who is concerned about the safety of the residents of dilapidated properties.”

For owners, the source added that the KMC is offering 100 percent FAR. “Owners are getting more space for the reconstructed building than what the demolished property occupied.”

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