Random inspections will be carried out to identify dilapidated buildings: Commissioner

Against the backdrop of building collapse incidents reported from various parts of the country, the Madurai Corporation proposes to identify weak and unsafe buildings in the city and issue demolition notices to their owners.

A team of officials and building inspectors is to be formed to prepare a list of old and dilapidated buildings which pose a threat to public safety.

The age of the buildings, their stability and safety will be examined by the civic body after which it will issue alert notices, if required.

To begin with, the Madurai Corporation is expected to focus on congested areas in the city, such as the Mahal area, South Veli Street, Simmakkal Market and the areas surrounding the Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple, where some buildings are said to have crossed their life expectancy.

Corporation Commissioner R. Nanthagopal told The Hindu on Friday that the authorities would take swift action if specific complaints were received from the public about threats posed by buildings in their locality.

“However, I will ask my staff to make random inspections near Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple and Thirumalai Naicker Mahal because in these areas there are many old buildings where people in which people have lived for generations,” he said.

If the buildings were found to be posing a threat to lives, the building owners would be directed to undertake repair works or construct new structures, Mr.Nanthagopal noted.

Special attention

Chief Town Planning Officer (CTPO) of Madurai Corporation M. Rakkappan said safety measures had to be taken during the rainy season.

Recently a demolition notice was issued in the case of a dilapidated building near MGR statue at South Veli Street.

“We have issued notices to about 20 damaged buildings this year,” he said.

The Chief Town Planning Officer said North, South, East and West Veli Streets needed special attention in view of the large number of decades-old buildings still in use there.

“We are not confined to removal of encroachments and sanctioning building construction permits. Unsafe buildings are also in our radar and the Corporation will act tough in this regard,” he added.

Housing Board role

Mr.Rakkappan also stated that the condition of a few Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) buildings in the city was very bad and it was for the Board to take action to ensure the safety of the people living in the apartments.

Officials said the Tamil Nadu Housing Board had issued a safety alert notice to a complex at K.K.Nagar.

The notice was also issued to the residents’ association a year ago.

“We received a copy of the notice which stated that the flats were constructed in the early 80s. Since a majority of the owners were not residing here, immediate action could not be taken. However, our association recently carried out some repair works and our office-bearers were holding discussions on constructing new buildings,” a resident in the three-storey apartment complex said.

More In: Madurai