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Since 1st March, 1999
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CMC sits on list of illegal structures

The Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) stands accused of sitting on a list of illegal structures across the city that police had forwarded to it.

Officers at Lalbazar said the list, complete with the addresses of the premises and the nature of violation, had been sent to the CMC headquarters in the first week of January but there was no response yet.

The officers have no clue how many unauthorised structures have been pulled down since the list was sent.

“We had identified 525 unauthorised structures in the five divisions of the city police in 2008. We had also made a list of more than 25 premises where illegal structures had been raised on previous occasions, too,” said K. Harirajan, the additional commissioner of police.

According to CMC records, only 180 unauthorised buildings have been pulled down over the past two years in the city proper.

In the added areas comprising wards 101 to 141, more than 2.5 lakh illegal structures have been detected. “Only five such structures have been demolished over the past 20 years in the added areas. All five were in Behala,” said a CMC official.

When asked about the inaction, civic director-general (building) Gora Chand Mandal said: “The buildings have been existing for decades. Is it possible to demolish thousands of illegal structures?”

Police records suggest the south division, with 135 illegal structures, tops the list of violation of building rules. The port area came second and the north division third.

An officer said the survey had come across 109 illegal buildings in the north division, around 120 in the port area, 94 in the eastern suburban division and 60 in the central division.

“The areas witnessing a boom in illegal construction include Beniapukur, Karaya, Park Street, Ballygunge and Bhowanipore in the south division, and Kidderpore, Ekbalpore and Watgunge in the port area,” the officer added.

Why are not the cops acting on their own? An officer said: “We did our job by passing on the list to the CMC. It is the civic body’s duty to pull down the structures.”

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