Kolkata is full of potential Stephen Courts, the city police realised on Saturday during a spot inspection drive of old buildings, even as three more bodies were found from the gutted floors of the heritage building, taking the death toll to 33.
“We visited four buildings in Kolkata’s central business district today. All of them fall in the high-risk category. An accident may happen anytime,” said Banibrata Basu, special commissioner II, Kolkata Police.
A team of Kolkata Police, Kolkata Municipal Corporation, fire services, Kolkata power utility CESC officials and the chief electrical inspector of the state power department have embarked on spot visits. Their initial list has 12 buildings and 32 markets.
Goaded by the fire that killed 33 till Saturday evening, the authorities are out to find out how fire-safe the city’s old buildings are.
The list of 12 buildings under the scanner are all high-rises (building higher than 14.5 m), and don’t seem to follow even rudimentary fire safety norms.
“Once the examination is completed, the police will send notice to the owners to comply with safety requirements. If they don’t, we will lodge cases against them,” said Basu on Saturday evening.
State Chief Secretary Asok Mohan Chakravarti has announced that a committee, and not a commission will probe the fire.