Families living in tilted buildings seek Kolkata civic body’s help

April 19, 2024

KOLKATA: Nine families living in three buildings at Aurobindo Abasan in Maniktala’s Muraripukur have turned to KMC for help, pointing out that the houses had tilted over the years and that they needed assistance to rectify the structural defects and prevent a tragedy similar to that in Garden Reach.

The buildings—one four-storey standalone house and a five-storey apartment built in 1994 and another five-storey apartment buildings built in 2000—reportedly started tilting about two decades ago. A KMC team inspected the site eight months ago and issued notices to the residents, deeming the buildings structurally unsafe. A senior KMC buildings department official said the structures were built after plans were approved but construction flaws led to the tilting. “The tilting structures are unsafe and may collapse after some years. KMC engineers will pay a visit and advise residents to go for non-destructive structural test.”

Lalbazar senior officers are collaborating with KMC and are prepared to provide assistance to residents.

Among the three, the maximum tilt is seen in the five-storey building that came up in 2000. Indrani Chakraborty, who lives on the third floor, said, “My father had bought this flat and we have been living here since 2001. This building started tilting on the left since 2004. KMC engineers advised us to get it straightened by private real estate developers but that involves lakhs of rupees that we can’t afford.” Samir Bose, secretary of the housing society, told TOI, “We want the civic body to do something as we fear the buildings might cave in. We are especially worried after what happened in Garden Reach.”

Sumit Ghosh, president of the society, claimed they had approached the local authorities over the past two decades but to no avail. “The developer, Bhajan Chowdhury, has passed away. Who will now take the responsibility? We urge the civic body to take some concrete steps as it won’t be financially possible for us to repair the buildings.”

The housing society came up on a land that used to house a matchstick factory. “In 1984, the six-bigha land was handed to Mitra Ghosh Roy, a local construction group, which had hired Chowdhury to develop the apartments. Some small plots on the premises were sold off. Between 1989 and 2001, the apartments were built,” said Manas Bhuyia, a teacher and a resident of the society. Jayati Mukherjee, a resident, who lives in the standalone house, said, “We have been living here since 1994, and the tilting started after the five-storey building came up in 2000. KMC engineers told us to pull down a concrete water tank on the side it is leaning. We have set up another tank on the other side and will raze the old tank.”

  • Published On Apr 19, 2024 at 09:14 AM IST

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