Kolkata civic body targets under-construction illegal buildings

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KOLKATA: Under pressure from the civic bosses, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation buildings department on Friday decided to go for ‘group demolition’ of illegal buildings across the city.


According to plans, KMC sub-assistant engineers in the ward level will identify under-construction illegal buildings under their jurisdiction and upload the same on an app.


The decision was taken as the election Model Code of Conduct bars any agency from evicting voters from their registered addresses.


However, these engineers will need to spot the illegal buildings at the initial level so that the task of demolition becomes easier.


Based on the information, the civic brass at the headquarters will chalk out a plan for demolition of the unauthorized structures in a block on a single day. “Instead of razing illegal structures one by one, we will take up demolition work for a group of under-construction buildings located in a particular neighbourhood that will be identified as illegal structures. We will conduct such a demolition drive across 16 boroughs on a single day,” said a KMC buildings department official.


In a bid to expedite the demolition drive and conduct a city-wide demolition, the KMC will rope in several private demolition agencies and depute them at designated spots. “Currently we have four private agencies looking after the demolition work in all 144 wards. We will rope in more such agencies,” said an official.


According to a source in the KMC building department, the sub-assistant engineers in the boroughs have been asked to take note of the growing illegal buildings in the select zones that have been earmarked as will get in touch with the executive engineers and they in turn will contact seniors at the headquarters asking for help from the cops to preempt any resistance from promoters,” said a KMC buildings department official.


Apart from group demolition of illegal buildings, the KMC will apply a special power vested on municipal commissioner to pull down unauthorized buildings without serving notices to the owners or developers.