Kolkata’s Unsafe Buildings Stare At Demolition
After Delhi, it is now the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) that is planning a demolition drive. The KMC has now identified unsafe buildings across the city and plans to raze them.
KMC razing drive takes shape
Reportedly, sources from the department have marked 100 buildings across Kolkata and these have been demarcated as Grade-1 dilapidated buildings that require urgent action. This is not all. These are just 100 out of 1,500 structures that have been proclaimed insecure. When residents clung on to their weak dwellings, KMC had to roll out an express order (sought from the municipal commissioner in times of emergency) for the demolition of these buildings. Thereafter, the department has also sought police support for the safety of civic employees.
Affected areas and action
Rani Rashmoni Road, S N Banerjee Road, Lenin Sarani and B B Ganguli Street are among localities that have maximum insecure structures. Despite warnings, residents have refused to move out given that they do not have an alternative arrangement for stay but the authorities have already planned a week-long demolition drive starting May end.
However, citizens are aware of their plight and in some places such as Lenin Sarani, maintenance and repair work has been undertaken. Interestingly, this time it was tenants who took this initiative. Usually, tenants used to flee or slap a case in protest.
Not just the above-mentioned localities, Anwar Shah Connector also faced KMC’s ire in April this year. This 500 metre-stretch would soon be open for two-way traffic. The demolition was certain given the encroachments along the path.
On May 31, unsafe structures were razed, one of which at 16B, Rani Rashomani Road had collapsed thrice before in the recent times. Amidst protest, the civic authorities managed to raze some parts of the building although it was not pulled down wholly.
The KMC has been proactively trying to tame the damage that the 1,500 unsafe buildings can bring upon the residents. Those looking to avoid evacuation can undertake thorough repairs at their own cost in line with the safety standards and building plan laid out for such structures.