Shop and building owners begins renovation : ‘More than 80 percent of buildings against bye-laws’
IMPHAL | May 17 : Seven days after collapse of a building portion along BT Road near Flyover killed one and injuring three others, repairing works of the dilapidated buildings commenced today following instructions from the Imphal Municipal Corporation.
Shops in and around the area were made to shut down since the incident happened on May 10 until proper verification of buildings are conducted by the IMC for safety measures.
Today, a team of engineering section of IMC served notice to 24 shops directing them to renovate/repair/reconstruct the buildings under the guidelines of the building bye-laws, 2013.
Hinting to deformities and cracks in the buildings, from the reports of inspection conducted on May 13, the notice said that such deformities of the building, prima facie, may cause serious threat, unsafeness and danger to commuters and the shop owners and salesmen as well. The notice also directed to maintain and apply similar ‘cream colour’ to the structure of the building/shop and a signboard mentioning the name, address and shop registration details of the shop be shown clearly in front of the shop.
The notice further asked the shop and building owners to renovate/repair/reconstruct the building immediately, failing which, it warned that IMC shall take up necessary action in terms of the Manipur Municipalities Act, 1994 and the Imphal Municipal Council building bye-laws, 2013.
Meanwhile, shop owners conveyed that they are being harassed with the shop shutdown direction. “We are losing our daily sales of Rs 20,000-30,000,” said one shop owner while interacting with this reporter.
Also, the IMC asking the shop owners to take down the railings is unfortunate. The footpath is at a much elevated level compared to the basement of the shops. Earlier, people used to climb two three steps while entering the shops but now they are climbing steps to go out of the shops, he lamented and pointed out the necessity of installing railings to prevent flooding of the shops.
On the other hand, engineering officer, IMC, Chingshubam Maneka, told IFP that the shops will remain closed until they are repaired or renovated so that it is safe for general public and human habitation. A joint team comprising officials from IMC and PWD will be conducting inspection after the repairing works to verify whether the buildings are safe or not, she added.
Maneka also intimated that there is no proper data with IMC whether the shops and buildings in the Khwairamband market area are in accordance with the building bye-laws. However, she observed that more than 80% of the buildings in Imphal area are not in accordance with the building bye-laws.
When asked why IMC is not able to take up action against owners of such buildings, she hesitated to answer but replied that only the staff cannot be blamed, indicating the influence of people in power.
Regarding the railings, she clarified that railings are allowed but it should not be extended to the footpath upto the extent that pedestrians are disturbed.