Stephen Court to get a coat of paint

A coat of primer on the exterior of Stephen Court facing Middleton Street. (Sanat Kr Sinha)

Calcutta: Stephen Court on Park Street, where a fire had killed 43 people in 2010, is getting a coat of paint after extensive repairs and installation of fire-safety measures.

As of now, only a coat of paint has been applied on the wall facing Middleton Street. The plan is to paint the building in a mix of white, bronze and gold.

A team from the fire department will inspect the building on Tuesday to verify whether the safety measures installed were adequate or not.

If the fire department allows, the occupants will be able to apply for an electricity connection. At present, 10 apartments and some commercial establishments have electricity connections.

Power supply to the building had been snapped after the devastating fire. CESC restored supply to the Stephen Court Residents Welfare Association to carry out repairs and install safety measures.

Following requests from some residents who had nowhere else to go, the association supplied electricity to them from its meter.

"We had to take a risk on humanitarian ground," association secretary Debashis Guha Niyogi said.

Some other residents and a few commercial units got their meters installed at their risk.

"Hardly 10 residents are living here," said Rajeev Butta, a doctor who lives in the building.

Before the fire, there were around 70 residents.

The welfare association was set up in 2011-12. "All residents and offices contributed money to revive the gutted portion. The building can be roughly divided into four blocks based on the four lifts operating there. The fire had damaged the upper floors near lift 2. The 4th, 5th and 6th floors near lift 1 had collapsed. We also built seven fire escapes. One of the fire escapes is connected to the terrace and all the floors," Niyogi said.

"Around Rs 1.5 crore had been spent on installing fire-safety measures in the building. A water reservoir with 3.5-lakh litre capacity has been set up."


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