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Kolkata civic body to implement eviction policy for dilapidated buildings, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate

Kolkata civic body to implement eviction policy for dilapidated buildings, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate
KOLKATA: After the house collapse tragedy at Ahiritolla Lane, a section of Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s building department officials are advocating for the effective application of a building rule that empowers the civic body to demolish highly dilapidated portions of an insecure building to save its occupants.

According to a civic official, the section 411 (4) of the building rules gives an executive or an assistant engineer of the KMC building department the right to demolish the parts of a building listed as “dangerous” that may endanger the lives of its occupants or inmates of the adjacent buildings.

However, a KMC building department official said “restricted” use of the special rule had stood in the way of ensuring safety to those who have chosen to stay in the dilapidated buildings, risking their lives. “Taking a lesson from the house collapse tragedy at Ahiritolla, we should make the best use of the rule that allows us to demolish the dilapidated portions of an insecure building. Otherwise, we can’t prevent the loss of lives,” said a KMC building department executive engineer. “Whenever we seek approval from higher-ups for demolishing the dangerous portions of buildings without giving notice to their occupants, our proposals are turned down, fearing a public unrest. But time has come for us need to take the advantage of the rule and implement it for public safety,” said a KMC building department official.

Without “forced demolition” of the extremely dangerous parts of a listed insecure building, there is hardly any other option left with the civic body to ensure the safety of the occupants, said several KMC engineers. The KMC had tweaked building rules, giving the owners of the dilapidated buildings 100% additional FAR (Floor area ratio) and relaxation of building rules so that they might feel encouraged to reconstruct the old buildings, keeping the interest of the tenants intact.

Some KMC building department engineers said the formation of a demolition squad is needed to raze insecure buildings. “We need to look after 3,000 insecure buildings mostly in north and central Kolkata. Of these, 100 have been marked as extremely dilapidated. We need a dedicated building demolition squad for pulling down the vulnerable portions,” said an official.

Deceased child got toys for her sibling:

Priyanka Ghorui, who lost her three-year-old daughter Sreejita alias Sundori when a section of her paternal residence in north Kolkata’s Ahiritola Street collapsed on Wednesday morning following incessant rain, was scheduled to be admitted to hospital two days ago and her daughter was set to return to her father’s residence in the same neighbourhood. A mandatory Covid test had delayed it. The deceased had bought some toys for her newborn sibling the day her mother returned home. The woman, whose mother was also killed in the collapse, was rescued from the rubble and rushed to RG Kar Hospital where she gave birth to a baby girl in the afternoon.

Two more cases of partial collapse:

Large chunks of a four-storied building at Clive Row collapsed on Thursday. In a separate incident, a wall caved in at Burrabazar. No injuries were reported.


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