Adversity makes MC wiser
The showers which inundated the city a few days ago have taught the Amritsar Municipal Corporation some valuable lessons, the foremost among them being the need for preparedness especially ahead of the monsoons.punjab Updated: Aug 28, 2013 18:52 IST
The showers which inundated the city a few days ago have taught the Amritsar Municipal Corporation some valuable lessons, the foremost among them being the need for preparedness especially ahead of the monsoons.
The rain, which felled some old and unsafe edifices in the walled city area and the suburbs of Amritsar, towards which the MC had hitherto been somewhat indifferent, resulting in a few deaths, has made the civic body understand its foremost duty to ensure the security of the public. Seven lives were lost in the city in various incidents of roof collapse a few days ago.
Besides this, the monsoons have also made the MC realise the importance of rainwater harvesting, making it think seriously about the initiative, which is evident from the fact that the MC recently inaugurated a recharging well in its own premises in the Town Hall, besides making it mandatory for houses in an area of 200 square yards to have one as well.
The MC, which had hitherto been indifferent to the presence of unsafe edifices in the walled city area, has to date demolished more than three dozen structures out of the 152 unsafe buildings identified in a recent survey.
Stating that it was the duty of the MC to ensure that such edifices are dealt with on a priority basis, municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda said that from this time forth, this would be an ongoing process.
"It is the duty of the MC to ensure that the security of the public is not jeopardised by the presence of unsafe buildings. From now on the MC would be on the look out for unsafe structures and immediate steps would be taken to deal with them," he said.
Asserting that the MC's demolition teams had to face various challenges while razing the unsafe buildings in the walled city's narrow lanes, Kharbanda said that convincing the occupants of the buildings to vacate the premises was a tough task.
"A number of occupants of these buildings have been living there for decades and are, hence, emotionally attached and do not want to shift out though a majority of the owners of these buildings, are happy at the development," he said.
Kharbanda added that around 15 of these unsafe edifices were disputed because of which MC was unable to initiate action against them. He, however, added that MC would continue with its demolition drive, which was likely to be completed in the next few days.