Take action against dilapidated buildings: HC

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 19: High Court has directed the Jammu Municipal Corporation to carry out some exercise to find out if there are dilapidated buildings in the city, which pose danger to the lives of the people living therein or the neighbourhood, and take appropriate steps to prevent any untoward incident.
The judgment has been passed in a petition filed by tenants of shops in the building, which has been ordered to be demolished by the Jammu Municipal Corporation for being unsafe.
After hearing both the sides in length, Justice Rajesh Bindal observed, “vide impugned public notice issued by the Municipal Corporation, general public, owner/occupier of the building in question were informed that the building had been declared unsafe by various agencies and the Corporation has granted permission for demolishing the same”.
“The claim of the owner of the building is that the structure in question is more than 100 years old. This fact is not seriously disputed as the part of the building had fallen and apprehension of the owner of the building is that it may fall at any time”, High Court observed, adding “no doubt, the petitioners are fighting because they are in occupation thereof since long as tenants but if their rights are pitched against the lives of the people around including the petitioners, the scale will tilt in favour of the lives, which are more valuable”.
“We have seen many instances where old dilapidated buildings fall because of inaction by the persons concerned and then the authorities come forward for rescue operations. We should not wait for that disaster to happen”, Justice Bindal said, adding the plea that petitioners were not heard is merely to be noticed and rejected”.
“Any delay in taking appropriate steps in such matters may sometimes be disastrous. We should not wait for that to happen”, the High Court said while dismissing the petitions.