Bhubaneswar, Oct. 8: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has instructed its engineers to conduct a survey of unsafe buildings in the city.
Earlier, the corporation had identified five sites where unsafe buildings were located. One of these sites houses six quarters for corporation staff in Kharavela Nagar under ward No. 43. A vacate notice has already been served on its occupants.
Kali Mandir Market in Unit-VI, under ward No. 45, was also found to have several shops that are unsafe.
The market division of the civic body has asked shopkeepers to vacate the premises so that experts could examine the structure and chalk out a plan for its revamp, repair or demolition, if required.
Municipal commissioner Sanjib Kumar Mishra said: “Though we have our team of structural engineers, we will also take the opinion of the public works department experts on the condition of the structures.”
A senior corporation official said two executive engineers had already been told to ubdertake a complete survey of unsafe structures across the city.
The Odisha Municipal Corporation Act, 2003, empowers the municipal commissioner to take a call on unsafe structures even if they are built by other government agencies.
Since these unsafe buildings endanger public life, the act gives the municipal commissioner the power to demolish them, if needed, after due certification from experts.
The Telegraph had carried reports in March 2011 and August 2012 on unsafe buildings at ward No. 10 in Rental Colony and at ward No. 11 in Chandrasekharpur. The structures were constructed by the general administration department and the Bhubaneswar Development Authority, respectively.
“Under the Odisha Municipal Corporation Act, the municipal commissioner is empowered to act on any building within the corporation’s jurisdiction. But at present, we are concentrating on our own buildings in the city,” said a senior official of the civic body.
A senior corporation engineer said: “Notice has already been served on an apartment with six quarters at Mulapadia Colony under ward No. 55 because the building is found unsafe. Only one family has left the premises and remaining five are in the process of doing so. Once the evacuation process gets over, engineers from both the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and the public works department will inspect the premises to know its status. After a thorough examination, it will be clear whether a renovation will suffice or a demolition needs to be carried out there.”
The Lingaraj Market Complex near Lingaraj temple under ward No. 54 was declared unsafe by the civic body last year, which lies near the famous Devipadahara pond.
The market complex will be developed along the proposed road from Lingaraj temple to Kotitirtheswar Lane because the state government has now turned its focus on beautification drive and a panoramic approach to the historical temple from the Debipadahara-end.
Nearly five years before declaring the Lingaraj Market as unsafe, the civic body had put a similar tag on the cholera ward of the Municipal Corporation Hospital in the Old Town area under ward No. 55.
“However, a portion of the unsafe building still stands behind the present corporation hospital and we will demolish it for safety reasons,” said a corporation engineer.