25% of population live in rundown areas, informal settlements

June 23, 2019 - 19:2

TEHRAN – There are 1.3 million hectares of rundown areas and informal settlements across Iran which accommodate over 25 percent of the total population of the country, Kaveh Haji Ali-Akbari, head of the renovation of rundown areas organization affiliated to Tehran Municipality has said.

Retrofitting rundown areas has been a major concern for officials over the past 15 years, seeking for solutions to remove barriers on the way to rehabilitation, he added.
Over 20 million people are residing in rundown areas around the country, he lamented, Tasnim reported on Saturday.

Old and vulnerable-to-natural-disasters areas in the country’s capital are also amounting to some 15,000 hectares, 3,265 hectares of which are rundown areas, he regretted.

Although the capital is in poor condition, only 40 percent of old buildings have been retrofitted, he noted, adding, while rehabilitation of dilapidated areas across Iran constitute 15 percent of the land area.

Due to the complexity of modernizing worn-out buildings, there is a need for boosting coordination and cooperation and taking joint measures by all involved bodies, including the Ministry of Transport and Urban Development; the Ministry of Justice; the Judiciary; the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare; and the Ministry of Interior, he highlighted.

Ali-Akbari had said in November 2018 that over 5 percent of properties in the busiest province of the country were extremely old, according to data released in the Iranian calendar year of 1385 (March 2006-March 2007). Once the statistics are revised, a considerable increase will show up, he noted.

“Currently, over 1.2 million people live in rundown areas, amounting to 15 percent of the total population of Tehran,” he added.

Moreover, Tehran Mayor Pirouz Hanachi said headquarters for sustainable renovation of rundown areas in the capital city of Tehran has been established.

Structurally unsound buildings would be worst hit in the event of an earthquake or flooding, hence the number of causalities will most definitely increase compared to other neighborhoods. As a building ages, the structure can become weaker. Unstable buildings are dangerous and could collapse during stormy or severe weather conditions.

While the municipality seems to be in charge of rehabilitation of rundown buildings the government should gain the upper hand and make serious attempts to rebuild ramshackle houses and buildings by allotting appropriate budget.


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