Kolkata: They have already sent notices to a number of such buildings since July 2017, but this time it’s different. In a joint operation, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has teamed up with Kolkata Police to serve notices to dilapidated buildings which need immediate repair. In the past week, a total of 57 notices have been served on the owners. The hurry, sources claimed, is due to the upcoming monsoon and the recent squall where partial building collapses claimed three lives.
“This is the second attempt to drill some sense into the occupants and owners. Involving the police — who help us identify these dangerous buildings — will drive home the point that we are serious about the entire process,” said a senior KMC official.
The police claimed the KMC has a plan in place to tackle the menace and the cops have a peripheral role in identifying and keeping law and order. If the civic body fails to identify the owners of the ‘highly dangerous’ buildings, eviction notices will be sent to the tenants.
“The KMC will now hear the owners out. If they agree, the structures will be pulled down to make room for new ones with proper rehabilitation of the tenants. The KMC had put up billboards all over the city — and especially in front of dilapidated structures — asking owners of buildings that were more than 50 years old to get the health of the structures examined by engineers,” said an officer from central division.
Armed with amended building laws which allow KMC to take possession of a highly unsafe building in case the owner fails to get repairs done, the civic body said the uniformed cop accompanying KMC officials showed that legal steps were around the corner. “Now we can arrange for proper evacuation of highly dangerous buildings. After the shocking experience of the collapse of the balcony of a 150-year-old building on Indian Mirror Street, we can’t sit idle and watch other insecure buildings crumble in front of our eyes. That is why we have decided to send notices to the inmates of unsafe structures,” said a building department official.