279. Power of Chairperson to order demolition of buildings unfit for human habitation.
(1)Where the Chairperson upon any information in his possession is satisfied that any building is unfit for human habitation and is not capable at a reasonable expense of being rendered so fit he shall serve upon the owner of the building and upon any other person having an interest in the building, whether as a lessee, mortgagee or otherwise a notice to show cause within such time as may be specified in the notice as to why an order of demolition of the building should not be made.
(2) If any of the person upon whom a notice has been served under sub-section (1) appears in pursuance thereof before the Chairperson and gives an undertaking to him that such person shall, within a period specified by the Chairperson, execute such works of improvement in relation to the building as will, in the opinion of the Chairperson, render the building fit for human habitation or an undertaking that the building shall not be used for human habitation until the Chairperson on being satisfied that it has been rendered fit for that purpose, cancels the undertaking, the Chairperson shall not make an order of demolition of the building.
(3) If no such undertaking as is mentioned in sub-section (2) is given or if in a case where any such undertaking has been given, any work of improvement to which the undertaking relates is not carried out within the specified period, or the building is at any time used in contravention of the terms of the undertaking, the Chairperson shall, forthwith make an order of demolition of the building requiring that the building shall be vacated within a period to be specified in the order not being less than thirty days from the date of the order, and that it shall be demolished within six weeks after the expiration of that period.
(4) Where an order of demolition of building under this section has been made, the owner of the building or any other person having an interest therein, shall demolish that building within the time specified in that behalf by the order, and if the building is not demolished within that time, the Chairperson shall demolish or cause to be demolished the building and sell the materials thereof.
(5) Any expenses incurred by the Chairperson under sub-section (4) if not satisfied out of the proceeds of the sale of materials of the building shall be recovered from the owner of the building or any other person having an interest therein as an arrear of tax under this Act.
(6) In determining for the purposes of section 277 and this section whether a building is unfit for human habitation, regard shall be had to its condition in respect of the following matters, that is to say,
(c) freedom from damp;
(d) natural light and air;
(e) water supply;
(f) drainage and sanitary conveniences;
(g) facilities for storage, preparation and cooking of food and for the disposal of rubbish, filth and other polluted matter, and the building shall be deemed to be unfit as aforesaid if it is so far defective, in one or more of the said matters that it is not reasonably suitable for occupation in that condition.
(7) For the purpose of section 277, section 278 and this section, "work of improvement " in relation to a building includes any one or more of the following works, namely:
(a) necessary repairs;
(b) structural alterations;
(c) provision of light points and water taps;
(d) construction of drains, open or covered;
(e) provision of latrines and urinals;
(f) provision of additional or improved fixtures and fittings;
(g) opening up or paving of courtyard;
(h) removal of rubbish, filth and other polluted and obnoxious matter;
(i) any other work including the demolition of any building or any part thereof which, in the opinion of the Chairperson, is necessary for executing any of the works specified above.
(8) The provisions of section 276, section 277, section 278 and this section shall not apply in relation to any building in any area which has been declared to be a slum area under the Slum Areas (Improvement and Clearance) Act, 1956 (96 of 1956).