KMC will raze highly unsafe buildings, not wait for landlord's consent: Mayor Hakim

NewsDrum Desk
24 Nov 2022

Kolkata, Nov 24 (PTI) Mayor Firhad Hakim on Thursday said that the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will raze dilapidated buildings that have already been declared "highly unsafe" by the civic authorities.

The West Bengal Municipal Affairs Minister said that the civic authorities will not wait for the landlord's consent and will deploy demolition squads keeping in mind public safety.

"Places such as Burrabazar have many such dilapidated buildings. During every monsoon, there lies a danger of collapse of such structures. We will raze any such 'highly unsafe' building and put up tenants first at temporary shelters constructed by the authorities and later rehabilitate them at the new construction coming up on the same spot," he told reporters.

"Every time heavy rain occurs, there are reports of building collapse and deaths. On many occasions, we warned residents but they refused to move away and tragedy struck. This has to end," he said.

Hakim was speaking to reporters after the passage of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 by voice vote in the assembly.

He said this was one of the several amendments to the Act.

Hakim said the department has introduced a single-window system for passing building plans.

The Mayor said that KMC has introduced 'automutation', under which registration of properties and mutation can be done simultaneously. He said KMC will see to it that poor people living in slums adjacent to posh localities do not face the same valuation of their properties and they can change the category of their area by sending the assessment of their dwelling units to the civic authorities, which would be immediately acted upon and inspection carried out to authenticate their claims.

"Say, if there is a slum adjacent to bungalows and high rises in an area categorised A, the slum dweller individually will be able to lay claims that his area should be classified as E category zone, and post-inspection we will slot it accordingly if the claims are found to be true. That will affect less valuation amount of his property and help reduce the economic burden on him," Hakim explained.

All these measures are aimed at ending 'Inspector Raj' and making the entire system transparent aimed at helping the lower income group people, he said.

The minister said the department will be more proactive in collecting license fees from agencies such as Kolkata Metro Railway for putting up advertisements on state-owned lands.

"We will ask agencies putting up advertisements to pay up. In the past, we had waived Rs 500 crore the Metro owed to us for setting up its facilities on state-owned lands," Hakim added. PTI SUS ACD ACD

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