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Jadavpur

Protest stops razing of ‘illegal’ building in Jadavpur

If needed, we’ll seek RAF help: Mayor Firhad Hakim

Subhajoy Roy | Published 28.06.23, 06:22 AM
 Firhad Hakim.

Firhad Hakim.

File photo

The demolition of an allegedly illegal building in Jadavpur was stopped midway on Tuesday afternoon following protests by some residents of the area against the move by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), civic officials said.

A police team that was accompanying the civic body’s demolition squad was outnumbered by the protesters and had to beat a retreat, the officials said. The under-construction three-storeyed building in a colony in Baghajatin was found to have come up without any permission from the civic body, said an official. “None of the three floors had any permission from the KMC,” an official said.

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He said the demolition started around 11am and progressed without any resistance till about 1.30pm. It was then that a number of people came to the building and started protesting.

The local Trinamul councillor (Ward 102), Sima Ghosh, was present at the site.

Metro called Ghosh thrice on Tuesday evening. A man who answered the first call said she was busy in a meeting. The next two calls went unanswered.

In the afternoon, she told TV channel ABP Ananda that there was some “misunderstanding” that led the KMC to start demolishing the building. “The misunderstanding has been resolved,” she said.

Mayor Firhad Hakim told this newspaper on Tuesday evening that protests could not stop the demolition of an illegal building.

“Protests are temporary. If it is an illegal building, it will be demolished today or tomorrow. If required, the KMC will seek assistance from the Rapid Action Force and pull down the building,” Hakim said.

Asked whether he would speak to councillor Ghosh, Hakim replied: “I do not need to speak to the councillor. There is an established process and a hearing is held before a demolition order is issued. If it has been found that the building is illegal, no councillor can stop its demolition.”

Sources said that after a decision to demolish a building is taken, a letter with the order of demolition and a plan of the building is inserted into an envelope, which is then sealed.

KMC officials carry the envelope to the police station in whose area the building is located on the morning of the demolition.

“The address of the building is revealed to those who will execute the order only when the envelope is opened in the police station. This is done to ensure secrecy,” said a civic official.

The KMC does not pull down an entire structure. It cuts open a large portion of the floor so that the building is no longer fit for living and is beyond repairs. On Tuesday, the demolition could not reach that point.

Last updated on 28.06.23, 06:22 AM
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