The Calcutta Municipal Corporation will once more serve notices on buildings that have been marked as “dangerous” and requested people to move to safer places, especially because heavy rain can lead to the collapse of such structures, mayor Firhad Hakim said on Saturday.
Two people died on Friday after a wall collapsed on Lake View Road and the roof of a house caved in at Garfa.
Hakim referred to the deaths. Hakim said the civic body would hand over possession certificates to the tenants of “dangerous” buildings so they find a place whenever a new structure comes up in the place of the now derelict building.
“I will once again request every person living in unsafe buildings to move to safer places. This is for their own safety. Two people died yesterday (Saturday) because of house collapses,” Hakim said. “We will serve notices on all such buildings once more,” he said, adding: “We will give possession certificates to those who leave these dilapidated structures so that they are assured of a place whenever a new building comes up in that plot replacing the dilapidated building that stands there now.”
The CMC had drawn up a list of 100 very dangerous buildings. A senior official of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) said that they have pulled down dilapidated portions of about 70 of those 100 very insecure buildings. Owners and tenants of a few of those buildings have also undertaken repairs on their own.
The CMC tags buildings as ‘insecure’ (bipojjonok) based on their condition.
An official said there were about 2,500 ‘insecure’ buildings in the city. “Owners and tenants of such insecure buildings can undertake repairs on their own. They do not need to take any permission from the CMC to repair the structure. The CMC’s permission will be needed only if their plans can tamper with the building plan that was approved by the CMC,” said one official.
An overwhelming majority of insecure buildings are located in north and central Calcutta. Some of these buildings have scores of tenants living there after paying a meagre sum as rent. The owners do not find it feasible to do the repairs as they will be unable to recover the cost of construction based on the rent that the tenants pay.
A 55-year-old woman died after the roof of a single-storey building in Garfa collapsed on Friday. A 52-year-old man died after a wall of a four-storey building on Lake View Road collapsed on Friday.
The CMC’s building rules provide an incentive to the owners of such buildings. “Rule 142 of the CMC Building Rules 2009 allows owners of such dilapidated buildings to build extra space, more than what is permitted to other buildings on similar plots, so that they can sell the additional space for recovering cost and to make some profit,” said a CMC official. But the Rule also makes it mandatory that the owners rehabilitate all tenants in the new building when it is built.
Owners and tenants of several crumbling buildings have come together and built new buildings, said an official.
The Pre-Subroto Cup football tournament concluded in Calcutta on Saturday. Boys from St Paul’s School, Raurkela, defeated Bombay Scottish School, Mahim, in the final at the Sports Authority of India ground. Conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, the tournament was started in 2019. It resumed again this year after a two-year pandemic forced break. The chief executive and secretary of the council, Gerry Arathoon, said: “The CISCE believes sports help children not just now but also in the future.” The winning team will represent CISCE at the 61st Subroto Cup International Football tournament.