KOLKATA: Upto Rs 1 lakh fine is proposed by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation buildings department against failure to repair, secure or demolish an insecure building that poses threat to its residents or endangers public safety.
The civic body has proposed fines up to Rs 1,00,000 that can be imposed on the owner or occupants of an insecure building which has been figured in the ‘high-risk’ category prepared by the civic body. Failure to comply with the order will land the offender in jail for five years.
Similarly, the KMC will reserve rights to slap a penalty to the tune of Rs 50,000 on an owner or occupants of such a building if they fail to secure the entire structure or its hazardous parts by fencing it. The offender may also get a five-year jail term for failing to comply with this civic order.
Earlier, the KMC buildings department needed to appeal before the municipal magistrate for imposition of penalty. And, it had the right to impose only Rs 1,000 for such an offence.
According to a KMC buildings department official, frequent collapses of insecure buildings leading to deaths of several residents and pedestrians forced the civic authorities to act tough on a section of owners or tenants/occupants who are either resisting or not willing to repair or demolish an insecure building.
Accordingly, the KMC drafted an amendment of rules and sent the proposal to the civic body’s legal cell. After the legal cell okayed the proposal, it was brought to the mayor-in-council meeting on Friday. The matter has been passed and it will now be placed before the KMC House next month, said a senior civic official.
The amendments were proposed under sections 411(1) and 411(2) of the KMC buildings rules. These sections have given absolute powers to the municipal commissioner to ask any owners or occupants of an insecure building that is likely to fall to conduct repair of the hazardous parts and secure them for public safety.
The commissioner can also give an order for demolition of the structure. He may also ask the owners or occupants of a building to put a fence or guard the insecure parts of a condemned building to ensure public safety.
A KMC buildings department official said that it had brought the matter to the MiC. Once it’s passed in the KMC House it will start implementing the same to prevent death of innocent people. The fear of paying a hefty penalty or imprisonment may act as a deterrent.
Source: ET Realty
Image Source: Times of India