Unsafe buildings pose threat to lives; MCJ, admn turns blind eye

  • Jatinder Kohli, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Sep 09, 2014 22:04 IST

As many as 70 unsafe buildings have mushroomed in the city and are posing a threat to the lives of citizens. However, the municipal corporation and district administration have turned a blind eye towards these hazardous buildings.

One person was killed in Jalandhar last Friday in an incident of roof collapse due to heavy rain in the state but the incident failed to move the corporation and the administration.

The municipal corporation, which had conducted a survey around five years ago and identified 70 unsafe structures, has not carried out any physical verification of the entire city since then. The city consists of several narrow and cramped areas like Mai Heeran Gate, Quilla Mohallan, Lahoria Mohallan, Saidan Gate, Rainak Bazar, Pipla Wali Gali, Attari Bazar and Balmiki Gate where many unsafe buildings are endangering the lives of their occupants as well as those of the neighbours.

These decades-old buildings are in such a bad condition that they can collapse any minute.The officials and political leaders rushed to the spot in Basti Danishmandan after the incident of roof collapse but none of them talked about surveying the unsafe buildings in the city, showing apathy towards the issue.

Corporation officials said the corporation did not want to become party to the issue as most of the unsafe buildings had become a legal battle between the owners and tenants and hence, it was better to avoid issuing notices to the occupants.

The officials said the corporation issued notices to occupants only after neighbours or other people complained to them about the possibility of an old building collapsing in their locality.However, officials said the government should prepare a policy for the occupants living in such structures as most of them were belonged to weak financial backgrounds and did not have money for repairs.

Vinay Kumar, a resident of Saidan Gate, said there was a very old unoccupied building in his street. Half the roof of the house had collapsed due to recent rain. Kumar said, "We have written to the MC urging them to demolish the building but they are yet to initiate action," he said.

Another resident Sakshi said children played in the street and if the building was not razed by the corporation soon, it could endanger many lives.

When contacted, mayor Sunil Jyoti said they had not conducted any survey recently and MCJ could have no information about unsafe buildings on its own. He added the MCJ came to know of unsafe buildings only when residents complained.

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